In mid-December, Gired Berder , owner of an oyster farm, harvested an oyster weighing 2.22 kg. Although the news has surprised many, Berder himself has pointed out that it would, in fact, be a common phenomenon.
As the breeder himself pointed out to some media, “we breed others on the ground. This oyster was found in a corner of the park where we had planted in 2006. We had not remodeled this place for years ”.
Therefore, the oyster was buried in the sand, where it lived a “peaceful” life for 15 years , which gave it time to grow to more than 2 kilos, 27 centimeters long and 13 centimeters wide.
In fact, it would be so common that Berder noted that when he cleared the park throughout this year, he found five or six others of this incredible weight (and size). And it is that already in the month of October 2020, social networks reported a dark one that weighed exactly the same as the current one (2.2 kg), and that was also found in Carantec.
According to Berder, fourth generation oyster farmer, at the head of the “Penn al Iann Oysters”, located in Morlaix Bay, “my father and my grandfather found such big ones. It doesn’t happen every year, but it is normal. When I cleaned the park this year I found five or six like that ”.
Although we might think otherwise, the truth is that, even at this size, the oyster is edible . Of course, how could it be opened with such a size? Berder himself even joked about it, although it is true that he is quite right: “with a hammer and a chisel.” In addition, he proposes another simple solution: heating it in the oven, which, possibly, would be even less dangerous.
Interestingly, we recently learned that intensive agriculture , which pumps fresh water, dries up wetlands, and removes pesticides, tends to strongly weaken oysters, which is why oyster farmers are desperate .
In France, for example, farmers have observed abnormal summer mortalities since the early 2000s throughout the territory, such that up to 85% of the juvenile oysters that have been caught at sea or bought at the hatchery, it can be tithed in a few weeks.
What’s more, they warn that oyster farmers are totally dependent on water quality , which tends to deteriorate as the presence of pesticides in the environment increases. In the country, only between 2009 and 2018, the use of these substances increased by 20%. Once scattered, these molecules end up leaking into the sea, which, according to experts, has become “the ultimate receptacle for land pollution.”
Hence , coastal areas, where oysters usually grow, are particularly exposed .
This is mainly because oysters act as filter feeders. They open their shells and suck water through their gills, so that everything in the water (plankton, metal residues, microplastics or pesticides) ends up passing to the oyster, which could cause anomalies in its development and a lower rate. growth in exposed mollusks, in addition to damaging the genetic material, which can cause physiological alterations, leading to their weakening.
In fact, a few years ago scientists found that offspring of oysters exposed to herbicides showed lower survival rates in the natural environment .