At the Beginning of Another Oyster Season in Maryland, the Industry is Hoping For a Rebound

This time last year, Jason Wilford was preparing to bring his farm-grown oysters to a Thanksgiving pop-up sale in Easton.

Events like that one were something of a lifeline for Wilford, a newcomer to the industry. With the coronavirus pandemic raging as the weather grew colder in the fall of 2020, many seafood restaurants were closed or offered only carryout. There was practically nowhere for his first batch of hand-raised oysters to go.

Experts say COVID-19 depressed demand for oysters, in part because shucking them wasn’t popular among diners looking for quick to-go meals. That sank prices for harvesters on the bay.

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