By Xu Zhuowei
As the saying goes, oysters are eaten in winter and clams in summer.
At noon on January 8, in Tangtou Village, Chunhu Street, Fenghua District, the farmers were busy collecting and processing oysters. Rows of oyster racks are floating on the sea, creating a spectacular scene.
At the wharf, Wang, an oyster farmer, returned with a boat, which was loaded with newly harvested oysters, some of which were shelled for meat and transported to the market for sale. Most of them were seed oysters, which were glued to the breeding tire, ready to be loaded and transported to Sanmenwan for breeding. It takes a year for oysters to grow and harvest from seedling release.
Tangtou Village is renowned for oyster farming. There are more than 140 households in the village, and nearly 70% of them are engaged in oyster farming. Many farmers breed oysters in the offshore contracted waters around Xiangshan and Sanmen, Taizhou. For large-scale farmers, the area of one farming family reaches hundreds of mu. Wang Chenghan, a villager, said that only a few oysters from Tangtou Village sold oyster meat, most of which were shipped to Fujian Province in shells and sold tens of thousands of kilograms at a time.
In the processing cabin at the seaside, with a special knife, farmers skillfully pry open the oyster shell and take out the oyster meat inside. This job requires patience. In peak season, a farmer works more than 10 hours a day and can pry up about 10 kg of oyster meat.
Oysters are a must-have dish for Ningbo people during the Spring Festival. At present, the price of oysters sold in Tangtou Village is 50-60 yuan per kg, the same as that in previous years. However, affected by the epidemic, the number of vendors coming to the village for purchase has dropped sharply recently, which is only 30% to 40% in normal years. The farmers hope that the epidemic will pass soon, and the market will recover too, so that the year's hard work will have a good return.