Celebrating 10 years... September 01 2018
I bought Alf Smythers in 2008 so that’s 10 years of fishing for oysters in the winter, we set up Cornish Native Oysters in 2009 so this is the 10 year processing and packaging to chefs and in October 2018 it will be the 10th anniversary of our pop up gatherings Fal Oyster Wink at The Front Falmouth...
but the Fal Oyster Fishery is well over 400 years old according to Sir Richard Carew
In 1602 Sir Richard Carew saw fishermen catching oysters with 'a thick strong net fastened to three spills of iron, and drawn to the boat's stern, gathering whatsoever it meeteth lying in the bottom of the water, out of which... they cull the oyster'.
The last wild native oyster beds lie in this beautiful Cornish estuary. In 1876, in an early example of conservation legislation, Truro Corporation passed byelaws forbidding the mechanised harvesting of oysters. The Fal oystermen use gaff-rigged cutters, some over a century old, the last in Europe to fish commercially under sail. Upstream they dredge with punts; not what see boys in blazers and girls in muslin poling along the Cam in, but hefty rowing boats.