Maryland’s oyster industry hopes for a rebound this season

November 27, 2021 GMT

BALTIMORE (AP) — Folks working in Maryland’s oyster industry are hoping for a rebound this season after seeing demand and prices plummet this time last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Baltimore Sun reports that COVID-19 depressed demand. That’s in part because shucking oysters wasn’t popular among diners looking for quick to-go meals.

It appears that things are looking good for the industry so far. The latest figures show a strong population of market-sized oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

Prices also appear to be rebounding, according to Chris Judy, shellfish director for Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources.

Oysters harvested from the bay last season had typically cost distributors about $30 a bushel. That was down from $40 the year before. The average is up this year to about $35 a bushel.

Now that about 85% of Maryland’s adult population is vaccinated against COVID-19, people in the state seem keen to return to oyster bars and seafood counters.