Pacific rock oyster, Pacific king oyster
A large oyster, often oval in shape which has a thick shell with large, round radial folds. The shell colour is usually off-white with purple rays but varies depending on the habitat that it attaches to. One shell or valve is deeply curved and the other flatter in appearance.
If harvesting from the rocks, either remove the whole oyster or smash the remaining shell so no sharp shells remain as a hazard. Some community groups actively remove oysters from local beaches.
Pacific oysters favour living on rocks and other hard surfaces in sheltered waters within the intertidal zone, although they tolerate a wide range of salinities and water quality. Found in large numbers throughout north and southern eastern Tasmania and can live up to 30 years.
Introduced to Tasmania from Asia around the late 1940s for aquaculture purposes, Pacific oysters are a fast growing species with high reproductive rates. Known to compete with native species of shellfish for food and space. Now widely distributed around the state, they are collected by recreational fishers using a hand tool.
Pacific oysters shells can be extremely sharp and rough.
Follow any public health alerts relating to eating wild shellfish - refer to the
Department of Health or phone their hotline on 1800 671 738.
Best eaten at around 70-80 mm size.
Recipe: Oysters Kilpatrick
24 oysters in half shells; 4 rashers bacon, finely chopped; 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce; lemon juice; chopped parsley; salt and pepper to taste.
Place oysters on shells on grill pan. Preheat grill. Sprinkle each oyster with salt and pepper, ½ tsp chopped bacon, ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook under hot grill until bacon is crisp. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Recipe: Chilli Parmesan Oysters
As many oysters as you wish to prepare, sweet chilli sauce, parmesan cheese, freshly grated.
Pop a little sweet chilli sauce on each oyster and top with parmesan, place under a hot grill and grill until cheese has melted and browned a little. Serve with a wedge of lemon and cracked black pepper.
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