There is a big difference between the fresh water and the salt water oysters. The differences in the taste of the oysters are due to the water conditions in which they grow and the way in which they are harvested. Fresh water oysters, or those that come from the Pacific Northwest, are grown in bodies of water that are generally open to the sea or canals. This means that the oysters are located where there are open water channels or the Pacific Ocean.
Salt water oysters are produced in saltwater bodies near shorelines. The oyster uses these bodies of water to spawn and this is when the harvesting begins. The harvesting is done by removing the mature oysters from the water. Then the oysters are transported to the shore and opened to the sea or canals to be harvested. Many times the oysters are allowed to acclimatize in the fresh water before harvesting them.
In the fresh water oyster beds, the oysters will settle into an uneven layer. This occurs because the oysters maturation is faster in the fresh water oyster beds and slower in the saltwater oyster beds. As the oysters mature they will rise to the surface of the sea. As the oysters float through the open water, they will be attacked by predatory fish and will eventually die. This is the natural death of the oyster.
Harvesting oysters from the West Coast and the East Coast has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that the oysters from the West Coast are used to harvesting and can do so annually. The advantage is also that there are no creatures like crabs or shrimp to eat the young oysters which may have survived the earlier harvesting. The disadvantage is that the oysters do not remain at the oyster nursery waiting for the next year to harvest them. The oysters must be harvested before they can join their sea life friends.
Harvesting oysters from the East Coast is more complicated. The oysters must be allowed time to acclimatize to the fresh water and the cold temperature of the waters. The oysters from the east coast do not have the capability of handling the cold temperature. When the oysters return to the sea, they will die.
Harvesting oysters from the West Coast is quite different. It requires the use of pots for the oysters to stay in when they are harvested. The pots are made of galvanized steel to prevent the damage caused by the high pressure of the boiling water. After the oysters come out of the pots, they must be allowed a period of time to settle in the sea. If the oysters arrive too early, they may be killed during the acclimatization process.
The time it takes for the oysters to adapt to the fresh water and the cold temperature of the ocean is one of the factors that affect the price per oyster. The smaller oysters are usually cheaper because of this factor. However, it doesn’t mean that if you get smaller oysters, the price will be cheaper. Bigger oysters are also affordable because they are easier to catch.
These differences between the east coast and west coast affect the price of the pearls. Because of its location, the oysters on the east coast cannot survive the cold temperatures and so they are more expensive than the ones in the west coast. The location also determines the time period that the oysters live in. For example, if the oysters in the west coast stay for three months, it will take them three years before they adapt to the cold temperature and are considered fresh. So, the factors like the freshness, the distance, the period and the price are very important in terms of the pearl’s price.