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This soul-testing occupation, labor-intensive and dangerous, usually in frigid environment and in the face of seemingly inexhaustible harvest, is what Catherine Howell captured in Oyster Shuckers, on this month's cover.
It's sailors and sea captains," says Paula Johnson, the exhibit's project director and co-curator, "but it's also oyster shuckers and passengers on steamers.
The Tabasco Oyster Opening Championships saw the UK's finest shellfish shuckers compete to see who could open up 30 of the in-demand invertebrates the fastest, with the winner set to progress to the International Championships in Galway later this year.
The Fairmont Olympic Hotel's Shuckers oyster bar is typical, offering steamed clams, crab cocktail, chili spice popcorn shrimp, creamy chowder, tuna and tempura prawns.
By 1900, thousands of tons of the pearl oyster shells lay in heaps along the Venezuelan coasts and in smaller quantities on the Colombian coast, where they had been left for centuries by oyster shuckers (Kunz and Stevenson, 1908).
The annual Shuck and Swallow event, with professional oyster shuckers competing, takes place at 5:30 p.
Some of the fastest oyster shuckers once again will compete in the popular G2E Mohegan Sun Oyster Open, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov.
Local oyster shuckers will also be invited to demonstrate their shucking prowess before an audience.
Oyster shuckers are paid by the piece and typically make between $16 and $24 an hour depending on how skilled they are.
Shrimp vessels sold the scallops to large companies that processed the product near the mainland port of Puerto Vacamonte (~70 km northwest off from Las Perlas), whereas small boats landed the scallops at beaches and local small ports where shuckers cleaned them and packed the adductor muscle in bags to a weight of 3.
In a recent tasting at Anthony's Pier 66 in downtown Seattle, we posed that question to Sunset food editor Jerry Anne Di Vecchio, seafood marketer Jon Rowley, and four oyster shuckers from some of Seattle's best oyster bars - Chaz Johnson from the Brooklyn, Al Johnson from Anthony's Pier 66, Karen Matuschak from F.
The shuckers include men, women, and children as young as seven, all of whom work on a piece-work basis, but fishermen often open their own oysters.