Oyster farmers along the Hastings River are looking forward to a busy summer period, with the river reopening in the lead up to Christmas.
Owner of Tunstead Oysters on Port Macquarie's North Shore, David Tunstead, said it has been a challenging year for farmers.
"We've been able to grow oysters, but haven't been able to harvest them," he said.
The river has been closed for almost 300 days, Mr Tunstead said.
"That's the longest the river has been closed in my living memory."
The river reopened last Tuesday, November 15, and since then, farmers along the Hastings River have been able to harvest their oysters.
"We have had river closures because of rainfall, but we've never had the amount of closures and rain that we've had since January."
The oyster harvesting season typically runs from September or October through to April or May.
"We started testing the water in September, but we had bad water and a little flooding from all of the rainfall, so it's been a very long time."
Mr Tunstead said the demand for oysters is already picking up ahead of Christmas.
"The demand in Sydney is huge at the moment and the local demand is starting to pick up as well," he said.
"There are a lot of customers wanting to support local and I've spoken to a lot of other farmers who have sold out of their oysters in two hours."
Mr Tunstead said oyster farmers are hoping the weather remains dry over the summer months.
"Our fingers and toes are crossed for the weather to remain good from now until Christmas," he said.
"I think I could almost become a weatherman with how much I've been watching it. Hopefully it stays dry and we'll be able to stay open."
Oyster farmers are encouraging people to buy local this Christmas period.
"Support local and buy local from all of our farmers," Mr Tunstead said. "Demand now will continue to increase up until Christmas.
"I encourage people to contact their local oyster farmers and find out when and where they can buy from them."
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