New to DVD and VOD this week:
THE OYSTER FARMERS
Princeton Environmental, Garden State, Asbury Park
A look at efforts to restore oysters to NJ’s Barnegat Bay, once a thriving ecosystem.
Ruff’s earnest, if overly staid, film focuses on modern day aquaculture and its role in trying to build up the lost oysters of coastal NJ. It briefly presents the history of oysters in the region – once so plentiful they were sold from streetcarts like hot dogs until their decline began in the 1920s due to man made pollution and other factors – but primarily focuses on several baymen and baywomen, most of them the latest in a generational lineage in the industry, as well as aquaculture farmers who are sourcing oyster seeds to plant and grow over the course of several seasons. These subjects discuss how the bay has changed, robbed of the natural filtering property of the oysters, and how recent efforts are helping to make oysters more plentiful and sustainable again, leading the way for both environmental and economic regeneration.