"They just taste of the essence of the sea and all of its wildness and romance and adventure. It startles me every time I taste a good oyster, just how rich and magnificent an experience it is." -- Mark Kurlansky, author of The Big Oyster, on NPR, 2006
Hand Tongers, harvesting wild oysters, work at the mouth of Broad Creek near its confluence to the Choptank River. Neavitt, Maryland
There is a different knife for every type of oyster. The structure of a shell determines what knife is best to use for shucking.
This wild oyster is also home to a pea crab.
Johnny Shockley of Hoopers Island Oyster Company empties the dredge full of oysters and shell while power dredging in Fishing Bay. Crocheron, Maryland
Hand Tongers, silhouetted at sunrise, work in Broad Creek. Neavitt, Maryland.
Justin Leondhardt, the hatchery manager at Hoopers Island Oyster Company, works in the nursery on the Honga River. Fishing Creek, Maryland
Oyster shuckers lined up in the shucking room at Harris Seafood, one of two full-time shucking houses in Maryland. They process oysters year-round and ship live oysters and shucked meats to markets throughout the United States. Grasonville, Maryland
Oyster Shucker Anna Rogers poses for a portrait outside of the shucking room at Harris Seafood. Anna uses empty bread bags to keep her clothing clean while working, a tradition that was handed down to her from her grandmother, who also shucked oysters at Queen Anne’s County Shucking houses throughout her career. Grasonville, Maryland
Nationally-ranked shucker Gardner Douglas serves up oysters harvested by hand tongers working in Broad Creek. Bozman,Maryland.
Oyster seed used in aquaculture at Harris Seafood. Grasonville, Maryland.