• Mr. Toadfish

    June 30, 2008

    Humming toadfish are also known as plainfish midshipmen, California canary fish, or bullheads. The fish are nocturnal, and bury themselves in sand during the day, unless they’re manhandled for a photograph.

    During mating season, male toadfish contract their swim bladder muscles to produce a low, humming sound. Female toadfish, in turn, develop increased acoustic sensitivity during the mating season, and are attracted by the humming sound. The toadfish hum can last for up to an hour, and is loud enough to be heard by oyster pickers and other humans.

    Midshipman fish also have light-producing photophores, which they use to attract prey. Someone once thought that the photophores look like buttons on a naval uniform, hence the name “midshipman fish.”

    Here’s a midshipman’s fish looking a little happier.


    The new sign is up and running! We are very proud of it. But, alas, the a and the f in seafood are too close together. Whoops.

    If you look closely at this picture, you’ll see Adam and the Gladys in the background, bringing in the oysters and clams for the day.


    Bacterium Blues

    June 23, 2008

    A couple of weeks ago The Oregonian broke a story about how the bacterium Vibrio tubiashii (evil cousin of the nefarious Vibrio parahaemolyticus, which we’ll talk about later) is wreaking havoc with the oyster industry. V. tubiashii attacks and kills oyster larvae, which is a problem for both oysters and the animals that eat them. […]

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    Inside the Shucking Plant, part 2

    June 19, 2008

    When the shuckers shuck enough oysters to fill a bowl,  they send the bowl through the window into the packing/grading room. Here’s Roberto at the window: Packers Teresa and Brenda put the oysters through a bubbler and then rinse and sort the oysters according to size. Oysters that are shucked badly are set aside to […]

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    Eagles over Eldon

    June 12, 2008

    Neighbor Gary sent over these pictures of an eagle nest near his home in Eldon, the hamlet overlooking the Hamma Hamma estuary.

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    WE think these pearls are special.

    June 10, 2008

    Yes! You can find pearls in Hama Hama oysters. The shuckers normally find several a day. Pacific oyster pearls aren’t valuable, but they are really cool. (Jewelry pearls are produced by pearl oysters, which are in a different genus than edible oysters. Read this for more information about cultured and wild pearls.) These pearls (there […]

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    Last Run of the HH Battleax

    June 6, 2008

    Adam and Area Dog took one last ride on the HH Battleax, as they transported the now-retired barge from wet dock to dry dock. The Battleax: Might not have been pretty, but she sure could cook. Out with the old, and in with the HH Gladys. It’s shinier, faster, bigger, and safer, but not nearly […]

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    Oceanaire Crew Visits on Lowest Tide of the Year

    June 5, 2008

    Wednesday, June 4th was the lowest tide of the year. The tide dropped to -4.3 around noon, and then rose to a 12.3 high tide in the evening. A group of people from the Seattle Oceanaire restaurant came out to celebrate the low tide and learn a little bit about Hama Hama oysters. Adam gave […]

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    John Singer Sargent, from Bruce

    June 4, 2008

    Bruce from West Seattle shared with us this image of John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece, the Oyster Gatherers of Cancale. Stop by Singer Sargent’s website for a history of both the painting and Cancale’s oyster industry. Thanks Bruce!

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    Fine Oyster Art

    June 2, 2008

    Oysters, Young Sir? by Henry Perlee Parker © Bridgeman Art Library / Roy Miles Fine Paintings The Oyster Meal by Jacob Ochtervelt © Bridgeman Art Library / Harold Samuel Collection, City of London Still Life with a Skull, 1962, © Glyn Morgan, Bridgeman Art Library / Private Collection Les Trois Huitres, 2002-03 by Alan Kingsbury […]

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