Oyster harvesting starts in Hiroshima

Fishery workers in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, have begun harvesting farmed oysters.

The harvest season started on Monday, around the same time as usual.

Around 6 AM, growers began using cranes on their boats to raise farming rafts from waters off Higashi Hiroshima City. They then removed shellfish from the rafts and put them in baskets.

After the harvests were brought to a port, workers carefully took each oyster out of its shell by hand.

Oysters this season are about 5 centimeters long, the same as usual. They will grow bigger in the lead up to winter.

One of the growers says he worked hard to make his oysters bigger. He says he hopes people will enjoy eating them after grilling or deep-frying them.

The harvest season in Hiroshima is expected to last until around May. Oysters from the prefecture will be shipped to Tokyo, Osaka and elsewhere across the country.

Hiroshima accounts for about 60 percent of oysters cultured in Japan.