Oyster Buyback Spawns New Ecology Program

Prior to the pandemic, Ryan Smith, whose Signature Oyster Farm operates out of Katama Bay, sold about 30,000 oysters per week — nearly all of which went to restaurants and raw bars across the Northeast.

By March of 2020, with in-person dining all but completely shuttered, the number dropped to about 300.

“Everything just halted,” the veteran waterman recalled. “I was selling door to door . . . it was terrible. You didn’t know how long it was going to last. But obviously, it lasted a lot longer than anybody could have anticipated.”

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