"What's Killing the Bay Area's Oysters?"

"Signifiers of the good life, local bivalves may be harbingers of another phenomenon: species extinction."

"It’s not even noon on the Fourth of July, but the restaurant at Tomales Bay Oyster Company in Marshall is already packed. Over 100 cars line the shoulder of Highway 1, while valets help another hundred find parking in a gravel lot. Every one of the 84 bayside picnic tables and charcoal grills is occupied, and even more customers spill onto the grass and benches nearby. The air is thick with music, conversation, and the salty scent of grilling shellfish. It’s a quintessential Bay Area scene, perhaps even a rite of passage -- eating oysters is the local equivalent of feasting on lobsters in Maine or scarfing jambalaya in New Orleans. On weekends like this, local oyster farms Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Hog Island Oyster Company serve up nearly 200,000 of the tasty bivalves. And that’s chump change when compared to the roughly 7 million oysters that the five oyster farms on Tomales Bay sell each year to local restaurants and bars."

Jacoba Charles reports for San Francisco Magazine August 25, 2014.

Thursday, August 28, 2014