I went oyster fishing, and have the sunburn, the slightly queasy sensation from sea-sickness and over-indulgence, and the cut hands to prove it. I was in Whitstable and thereabouts making a film about the history of the oyster industry for a new BBC2 series on the history of food. We visited medieval fishtraps on the beach at Seasalter, the area called Shellness on the Isle of Sheppey (clue’s in the name for its connection to oysters) and we went on the Misty out of Whitstable raking up oysters from the bottom with its skipper Andy and Richard from the Whitstable Oyster Company. As you can see in the photo, we also caught a starfish. (These are the bad guys – like vampires they latch onto and suck the poor old oysters out of their shells.)
I can now discourse knowledgeably on the differences between native and Pacific rock oysters but, as the scratches show, I still can’t easily get the darned things open.