Bluff (dredge) oysters
Maori Name: Tio
Latin Name: Tiostrea chilensis
Length: 6–8cm, reaching 10cmFamily:
Bluff oysters, also known as dredge oysters, belong to the Ostreidae family (oysters). There is a similar species in Chile.
Bluff oysters are mainly harvestred in Foveaux Strait at the bottom of the South Island.
They are endemic to New Zealand, where they are widely distributed around the coast, and form dense beds in gravel or coarse sand bottoms from 25 to 50 metres deep.
Sustainability of this New Zealand fish stock is ensured through the world-leading Fisheries Act and Quota Management System (QMS). The QMS guides the sustainable use of New Zealand fisheries. Find out what the QMS is and how it works.
Bluff oysters are caught using the method of dredge.
Bluff oyster flesh has shades of white, grey, gold and black. The meat is delicate and succulent, with a medium oil content. They are arguably best eaten fresh, raw and straight from the shell, however they can also be baked, barbequed, fried, poached, smoked, steamed, or used in a soup/chowder.
The fishery is strictly controlled and only open from March to August when the oysters are in the best condition.
Bluff oysters have an almost fanatical following among oyster fanciers. There is an annual Bluff Oyster and Food Festival to coincide with the catch.
Bluff oysters are a good source of Zinc, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Selenium and Iodine; and a source of Vitamin D, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Magnesium, Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium and Niacin (vitamin B3).
Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3.