Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, we get a massive heatwave in the Pacific Northwest. The impact on the oyster industry is worse than imagined. Two major repercussions to cover. One was quite immediate while the other will last until well into September.
The immediate issue impacted bivalves (oysters, mussels, etc.) in British Columbia and northern parts of Puget Sound. The low tide exposure to temps 110F+ lead to massive die-off. Ick.
The longer-term impact is because water temps always lag behind the air. That means the increased temperature in the water is just hitting. Once that warm, it is likely remain warm until late in September. The warmer water causes the oysters to go into their spawning cycle earlier, and more widespread across the region. Just not a pleasant experience on the palette.
What are we doing? First and foremost is to monitor supplies, water temps, etc. Our farmers are sending only small batches (think 75% reduction in production) to assure quality under close scrutiny. I’ll be sourcing from ocean facing farms in the short-term (Pt Reyes, Humboldt and such). I’ve had to cancel events this week and reduced the number of events over the next few weeks (see below). Always something, right?