THE boats are at sea and the oyster-lovers are queued, as southern shops are stocking up with the now in-season Bluff delicacy.
The oyster season began on Monday, and the sought-after shellfish were selling well since Barnes Oysters opened at 8am on Tuesday.
Barnes general manager Graeme Wright said processing began early on Monday.
“At a guess, we’ve got about 3000 dozen or something like that.”
It was normal for a queue of people waiting outside the store to buy oysters at the start of the season, he said.
“Southlanders are very passionate about their oysters.”
Ideal weather on Monday, meant oysterers had a good start.
They would have until the end of August to complete their quota, set by the Ministry of Fisheries.
The first days’ oyster catch were likely to be sold in Southland and South Otago.
“As the days go by, we will get more up north.”