The time of half a day I followed the oyster farmers of this small oyster company of La Flotte en Ré on the island of Ré.
The breeding of oysters is a long term work since to arrive in your plates, oysters know a long and complex course and are handled 57 to 60 times on average before landing in the plate of the consumer.
The first step is the catching. An oyster lays about one million eggs which, once fertilized, become larvae. To collect this spat, oyster farmers first install collectors (tubes, iron bars, plastic cups linked together...) on the coast to let the oysters settle naturally on them. These young oysters will stay between one year and one year and a half growing on these collectors.
For the second step, the detaching consists in delicately detaching the oysters from each other before distributing them in bags and putting them back in the sea on the tables provided for this purpose.
During nearly two years, the oyster feeds on plankton and will grow under the supervision of the oyster farmers. During this period, the bags must be handled nearly forty times, depending on the tides or currents.
The oyster farmer must watch over his beds every day. Finally, once the oysters have reached their maturity, the oyster farmers collect them to serve them fresh to the consumer.
The website of the Le Corre Family's farm: https://famillelecorre.com/fr
At sea with Ré island's oyster farmers
Transhumance in the french pyrenees