Shucks! Everything You Need To Know About Oysters

“He was a bold man that first ate an oyster,” or so the saying by 17th century Irish author Jonathan Swift goes.

Slimy, slippery and hidden within a sharp shell, we tend to agree – whoever first decided to pry open seashells and discover the magic within was very brave! We are one month into New Zealand’s Bluff oyster season and the love for fresh fish and shellfish is reaching fever pitch, so what better time than now to school you up on everyone’s favourite bivalve.

Where are Oysters From?

While Bluff oysters are world-renowned, NZ is lucky to have high quality oysters from shores all around our country, from Matakana to Coromandel, Nelson/Marlborough to the Bay of Plenty. Though we are a small country, we have the 9th largest coastline in the world, and our plentiful waters and sustainable fishing practices mean we are in prime location to grow and harvest oysters.

When is Oyster Season?

If you are thinking about buying seafood you should know that there are two oyster seasons in New Zealand: the regular oyster season and the Bluff oyster season. Most NZ oysters are dredged in the summer, and luckily Freshcatch’s fish delivery service still has some of Coromandel’s Te Kouma Bay oysters that we can deliver to your door.

Bluff oysters – considered by many to be the world’s best – grow slowly the cold water of the Foveaux Strait between the South and Stewart Island and harvest starts in March until August (or when the quota is reached.)

What Are Oysters, Really?

When you buy shellfish like clams, mussels and oysters you are buying bivalve molluscs, which simply means soft-bodied creatures living within two shells that are hinged together. Oysters are hermaphrodites, they change their sex usually starting out as male and switching to female. Interested in getting gender-bending fish delivered to your door? Try Freshcatch’s shellfish delivery box.

Are They Healthy?

Sure are! Fresh fish is one of the healthiest foods on the planet and shellfish is no exception. Like most seafood, oysters are packed with nutrients like omega 3s, B, C and D vitamins, calcium and iron. Five oysters will give you a day’s worth of zinc and B12.

What if I Stumbled Upon a Pearl in my Freshcatch Fish Delivery Shellfish Box?
Keep it, you lucky thing! The odds are about 1 in 12,000 that a natural pearl will grow in an oyster, so we’re not holding our breath. Not to mention, the type of oysters we eat don’t tend to be the ones making gems.


Prying an oyster from its shell is called shucking. Shucking oysters is a big deal – there are professional shuckers and the world’s best can shuck around 1700 oysters in an hour!

Hopefully you’ve learnt a little bit about oysters. Haven’t tried one yet? Give it a go – order from Freshcatch and get shellfish delivered to your door today.