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The boats are at sea and the oyster-lovers are queued as southern shops are stocking up with the now in-season Bluff delicacy.
The start of the oyster season began on Monday, and the sought-after shellfish were selling well since Barnes Oysters opened at 8am yesterday morning.
General manager Graeme Wright said processing began early yesterday morning.
"At a guess we’ve got about 3000 dozen or something like that."
It was normal for there to be a queue of people waiting to buy oysters at the start of the season, he said.
"Southlanders are very passionate about their oysters."
They would have until the end of August to complete their quota, set by the Ministry of Fisheries.
For the first few days, the oysters were likely to be sold in Southland and South Otago.
"As the days go by we will get more up north."