5000 a day? Shucks, it's a job

Bruce Tye shucks another oyster to keep up with demand for Christmas.
Bruce Tye shucks another oyster to keep up with demand for Christmas. Nicholas Falconer

HOW many oysters does an oyster shucker shuck when an oyster shucker shucks for Christmas?

The answer is about 5000 a day. In a 12-hour day, that's more than 400 every hour without any lunch break.

It is hard yakka but Jay Reynolds knew what he was getting into when he took over Sunshine Coast Oyster Service six months ago.

The new owner said he had sold about 20,000 to 25,000 oysters in the past week.

And there is still the final Christmas rush to go.

"We're expecting up to an hour wait in the queues," Jay said of the final buyers tomorrow.

Jay, who has been in the industry for a number of years, said customers were always willing to wait for a good buy.

"They all want a good product," he said.

Jay and about four other shuckers have started work at 1 o'clock in the morning for the past week.

They work until 1 in the afternoon shucking oysters galore.

Over the past week, the Warana company has sold about 13 tonnes of oysters.

Yesterday's delivery of 4.5 tonnes will likely see them through to Christmas, Jay said.

They will open at 3am tomorrow and expect a big queue.

Jay said they also sold a couple of tonnes of prawns as well as salmon, snapper and barramundi.

As for the seafood shop owner, he said he wanted to enjoy something different on Christmas Day.

"I usually look forward to a piece of steak," he said.

Topics:  christmas oysters seafood

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