Clyde River oyster weighs in for record attempt

‘Jack’ the Clyde River Pacific Oyster weighed in heavier at Narooma Oyster Festival on Saturday than the reigning world champion oyster from Denmark, but was not as long.

Festival organisers have to now wait for the official word from the Guinness Book of Records (GBR) to see if that weight makes it the world’s ‘biggest’ oyster, a wait that could take six weeks. However, there is growing thought that the GBR bases the world title more on length.

Clyde River oyster farmer Bernie Connell and his attempt at the world record with his oyster ‘Jack’ captured people’s imaginations leading up to the Festival, even attracting international interest.

A media scrum and a large crowd gathered at the Festival for the official measurements of Jack and other contenders.

In keeping with GBR rules, Narooma veterinarian Dr Kate Le Bars was in attendance to certify that the oysters were alive and healthy, while Member for Eden-Monaro Dr Mike Kelly and Member for Bega Andrew Constance were the officiating officers. The weighing and the measurements had to be videoed, photographed and authenticated to be sent off to GBR.

Fellow Clyde River farmer Martin Jackson also brought along a few challengers, none of which were heavier than Bernie’s whopping four-year-old although one was slightly longer.

The GBR lists the world’s biggest oyster as a Pacific Oyster (Crassiostrea gigas) from Denmark which was 35.5cm long and weighed 1620 g when it established the record in 2013. It was estimated then to be 15-20 years old.

Dr Le Bars measured ‘Jack’ at 27cm long, weighing in at 1898 g, surprisingly less than his weight over a week ago. Mr Connell attributed Jack’s weight loss possibly to all the recent handling and attention.

Unlike the Danish oyster which has five oysters attached, Jack and the other entries from the Clyde River are single specimens and only about four years old.

‘It’s only early stages, but with the evident growth potential of these oysters in the Clyde River, the Festival committee may consider making an attempt at the world record a regular feature of the Festival,’ said Festival committee chairman Niels Bendixsen.

Above: During the official weigh-in of Jack by Narooma veterinarian Dr Kate Le Bars, Bernie Connell, left, took steps with others to eliminate any possible wind factor. Meanwhile the cameras clicked.

Above: Narooma veterinarian Dr Kate Le Bars measured ‘Jack’ at 27cm long, witnessed by Member for Bega Andrew Constance, while the process was recorded for GBR.

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