National Geographic : 1913 Mar
LOW TIDE ON A JAPANESE OYSTER FARM "Owing to a rise and fall of the tide of from 10 to 15 feet, an immense area of bottom suitable for oyster growing is exposed twice daily, and the cultural operations are thus con ducted under conditions that do not exist in America or various other countries" (see p. 281). for immediate consumption or for trans planting. The oyster grounds of Germany are restricted to a small section of the coast of the North Sea near the Danish fron tier. The banks have for three centuries been the property of the Crown, and are leased for terms of years. The govern ment exercises strict supervision, to pre vent the depletion of the natural beds and at the same time to induce the maxi mum production therefrom. The oyster industry of Belgium cen ters at Ostend, where claires or reser voirs for fattening oysters have been in constant use for more than a century. The Belgium oysters are highly esteemed for their flavor, and Ostend is one of the great oyster depots of Europe. The physical conditions on the Belgium coast are not favorable for general oyster cul ture, and the industry consists for the most part in fattening and conditioning oysters from other countries. Foreign oysters transplanted in the Ostend reser voirs for a short time acquire a new flavor, and are then sold at home and abroad as "Ostends." Denmark has an interesting oyster in dustry, restricted to the Limfjord, an irregular arm of the sea that extends en tirely across Jutland. The oysters are the property of the Crown, and the priv ilege of taking them is now sold to the highest bidder, who enjoys a monopoly, with restrictions imposed by the govern ment fixing the annual output and the maximum price that may be charged. The Limfjord oysters are nearly circular in outline and have large, plump meat of excellent flavor. No form of cultivation has ever been applied, and the supply is maintained by limiting the production. The oysters are gathered by means of steam vessels, using dredges, six of which are hauled simultaneously.