Podcast On the Half Shell: Shellfish Growers Face the Pain of Covid-19

October 4, 2020

COVID-19 is pounding American shellfish growers.

Did you know that about 80% of shellfish consumed in America is eaten in restaurants and commercial establishments?  Few of us grab a dozen oysters or mussels on the way home from work.  It's not the American style.  

This week, Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham welcome to the show Margaret Pilaro, Executive Director of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, and her compatriot and colleague, Bob Rheault, who heads up the East Coast Shellfish Growers Association.  These two friends have been on the frontlines of one of America's key coastal industries for years and right now their members are being hammered.  The show kicks off with Nicole Faghin, Chair of the National Working Waterfront Network, and we learn about the state of America's working shorelines, the Network, and we set the table for the Margaret and Bob.  

It's an important show about coastal communities and the shellfish growers, most of whom are mom and pop operations with fewer than ten employees.  With the near complete and overnight collapse of the shellfish market, truckloads of oysters and other valuable shellfish have been dumped into landfills.  It's a tough time but there is a grit to these shellfish folks and there is a lot to this industry.  One of the best interviews we've done in awhile.  Check it out today.

Only on ASPN, The Voice of the Coastal Community!

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.