Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 58

Seafood
Mollusks
BY ANDY NELSON
Heat wave hits
NW mollusks hard
The record-breaking heat that hit the Pacific
Northwest from June 23 to 28 caused harm
to many intertidal shellfish and invertebrate
species on Washington beaches.
On many beaches, species such as cockles,
varnish clams, butter clams, and native
littleneck clams-normally buried out
of sight-popped to the surface of the
substrate in large numbers, according to the
University of Washington.
Manila clams were also impacted in some
areas. Surfaced clams were observed to be
gaping, a sign of stress, or had already died
from the effects of the heat. Some Pacific
and Olympia oysters initially appeared to
survive the heat but died in subsequent
days, perhaps weakened by the extreme
temperatures and unable to recover.
Many mussels along the tidelands and on
rocks died (however, mussels on pilings and
on rafts and floats in some areas appeared
to fare better). Mortalities are continuing
to unfold and attempts to document
continuing impacts are ongoing. It may be a
month or more before we see the full extent
of loss.
The event is being considered a oncein-a-lifetime
occurrence because of the
coincidence of record high temperatures
and midday extreme low tides, leading to
unusually high lethal effects on intertidal
sea life. This is possibly the first documented
shellfish mortality event of this magnitude in
modern times.
58 - SEPTEMBER 2021
LOST RESTAURANT BUSINESS made a big impact on Bellevue, Wash.based
Taylor Shellfish Farms, but by mid-2021, things were starting to
return to normal, said Bill Dewey, the company's director of public affairs.
" It's been a challenging year, but, like a phoenix rising up, our company
operations are beginning to shine again, " he said. " Over the past three
months, we've seen our production and sales volumes achieve similar
levels as 2016 and 2017, our peak revenue years. "
Virtually every product category at Taylor is running at a full capacity,
Dewey added, as the company works to sustain with smaller crews. That's
thanks in large part to consumers making the switch and getting on board
with retail purchases of shellfish.
Restaurants reopening has obviously helped, too.
" That will help bolster our specialty oyster sales that are shucked and
eaten raw on the half shell, " Dewey said. " Many people are intimidated
by opening their own oysters so sales for these specialty oysters really
suffered during the pandemic. "
Like so many businesses, Taylor is having a big challenge with staffing,
he added. Fortunately, everyone who is on the Taylor team has worked
hard to make up for the deficit, allowing the company to return to its
previous levels of success. " We still have numerous challenges in front of
us, but we feel equally encouraged with what the future holds. "
One standout performer has been the company's clam operations,
Dewey said. From March through June, clam harvest surpassed 400,000
pounds per month - the first time that's ever happened at the company.
Clams, unlike oysters, are an easier sell for consumers moving from
foodservice to retail.
" The clam market has been strong. During the pandemic, people have
thankfully taken to cooking more seafood at home and clams are easy to
prepare. "
With the labor shortage, Taylor was only able to achieve those numbers
with mechanized harvest and efficient packaging equipment, Dewey
said. Taylor has built a few clam harvesting machines over the past decade
and they have allowed for very efficient harvest, and the company's
10-chute weigh-bagger from Italy allows workers to package small retail
bags of clams efficiently.
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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021

Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - Intro
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 1
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 3
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 4
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 6
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 8
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 11
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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 21
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Supermarket Perimeter - September 2021 - 27
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