坂越 2020年6月6日
Sakoshi, June 6th, 2020.

Greetings from the coast of the Setouchi inland sea, Cody reporting.

(From right) Mr. Minami, Mr. Muraki share knowledge about oyster farming with Mr. Nakatani (left) in Sakoshi
(From right) Mr. Minami, Mr. Muraki share knowledge about oyster farming with Mr. Nakatani (left)

A couple times a year we check the status of the oysters in Sakoshi to gauge the merroir. The french word merrior, like terroir for wine, refers to the the factors in the environment that change characteristics of oysters, like flavor and texture profile.

This year we took an observation trip much earlier than expected. Generally, the farmers and their staff complete the seeding of oyster palettes in May. So, a trip in June shouldn’t reveal much new information since the baby oysters have only been growing for a short time. However, this season has been different. We were surprised to see great growth for just a month of life in the Sakoshi harbor.

Oysters on giant clam shells dangling from an oyster farming palette in Sakoshi
Oysters on giant clam shells dangling from an oyster farming palette in Sakoshi.

The oyster farmers suggested this could be attributed it to a variety of factors: the initial health of the baby oyster seeds, warmer temperatures for the seawater for this time of year, and a positive fluctuation of nutrients from nearby waterways including possibly increased natural plant based plankton from hillside runoff.

Sakoshi Oyster farmer, Mr. Tomita
Sakoshi Oyster farmer, Mr. Tomita

It will be interesting to see how the growth continues over the season. We hope that seawater temperatures remain steady, and typhoons or big storms are not so windy that the oysters break and fall from the lines.

Oyster growth on a giant clam shell in Sakoshi
Oyster growth on a giant clam shell in Sakoshi

That’s all for now, but we’re planning on another observation and research trip in July. So, come back around then and see how the oysters are doing!