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From shore to door: Oyster farmers turn to locals after export market tanks

Reference: CBC News

At this time of the year, Kevin Williams and his father Wayne would normally have eight employees helping them to process and ship thousands of oysters to the eastern United States.

Instead, Kevin says, he and his dad are keeping the Little Shemogue Oyster Company afloat by drumming up business locally. It's a market they had never explored before.

"Basically, sales went from what they were, which was really strong, to zero," said Wayne. "Quite a shock to the system."

Oysters started out as a hobby, but turned into a family business about five years ago. The Williams' have two water leases where oysters are grown, one in Cocagne, the other in Little Shemogue. The company also buys from other farmers and sorts and ships tens of thousands of oysters each week to Boston and New York City.

"My best market is the springtime, all winter you're paddling along waiting for the spring to hit and this year it didn't happen," said Wayne. "So that kind of hurts."

With help from emergency funds and wage subsidies offered by the Federal Government, and people in New Brunswick showing an interest in their oysters, Wayne thinks the company can hang on until next winter... Read More