Metre-deep snow and ice force oyster harvesters to take icy plunge in PEI
Friday, March 6, 2015, 9:12 AM - The Atlantic provinces are renowned for producing culinary delicacies harvested from the sea. But with the winter they've had in Prince Edward Island, retrieving precious oysters from snow and ice covered waters has been no easy task.
Harvesters, such as Raspberry Point Oysters in the town of New London, are struggling to retrieve their daily catches amid severe weather conditions.
Their divers are being sent into the frigid waters through massive holes bored in the ice -- more than a metre thick in some areas -- in order to collect their oyster cages, which sit about six metres below the water's surface.
"There's a huge demand for oysters," the company's general manager James Power, told CBC. "So between the weather that we've had and the snow on top of the ice, we're really struggling to fill all those orders."
During a season rife with intense winter storms, including freezing temperatures and near record-breaking snowfall, Raspberry Point has only been able to fulfill a portion of their orders each week.
Although labour and recovery efforts have increased, so far the price of PEI oysters has not.
March is Spring Outlook month at The Weather Network and meteorologists forecast a slow start to the season as the harsh winter experienced across much of the country hangs on. The complete national outlook - plus regional breakdowns in temperature and precipitation - can be found on the 2015 Outlook homepage.
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