Oyster farmers are hopeful sections of the Hastings River will soon reopen for harvest.
Oyster zones in the Hastings River have been closed for harvest since mid-December after heavy rain in a blow to oyster farmers at a time of peak demand.
Hastings River Shellfish Quality Assurance Program coordinator Paul Wilson said sections of the river were under testing and hopefully would reopen for harvest on Friday, January 15, pending test results.
He said the harvest closure over the Christmas period summed up 2020 pretty well.
"The timing was very unfortunate," Mr Wilson said about the harvest closure.
"It left a lot of disappointed customers who missed out on their Christmas oysters."
Christmas is a busy time for oyster sales.
Some oysters were harvested before the closure, with the stock kept in cool rooms and wet storage, to cover some of the Christmas pre-orders.
Mr Wilson said the demand for oysters hadn't shown any signs of weakening.
But he said it could be very interrupted season given the long range weather forecast.
Ewan Bale from Port Pearler Oysters said late 2020 was one of the only times he could remember when they didn't have a good run up to Christmas.
He said floods were nothing new but he agreed the timing was unfortunate.
"Up until the rainfall, we had good demand [for oysters] and just as well we did," Mr Bale said.
The business managed to harvest some oysters before the closure to sell before Christmas.
Mr Bale hopes to see a strong sales period for the remainder of the season.
Hastings River Shellfish Quality Assurance Program chairman Rex Marks said the oyster farmers were optimistic the season would extend until after Easter.
"We still have a reasonable time to sell our product, providing we don't get any substantial rainfall in the catchment area," he said.
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