The Oyster Divers

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The Oyster Divers of Long Island Sound premiered at the 2014 Food Film Festival in New York and tells the story of a group of baymen who hand pick wild oysters in Long Island Sound.


The practice of handpicking wild oysters is very rare. To our knowledge this is the only place in North America where it happens. The majority of oysters we eat are grown in farms at the surface of the water. Other wild oyster practices include ‘raking’, which involves dragging a rake along the sea floor, creating larger scale, and often unseen damage and disturbance. By handpicking the oysters, not only are the divers able to choose the correct size (over 3 inches), thereby leaving the younger, underdeveloped oysters to grow, they also cause only a minor disturbance to the surrounding habitat.

Filmed in collaboration with Empire Oyster and NY Oyster Week co-founder Kevin Joseph.

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