Denmark’s unwanted oysters become big hit in China

Chinese Master Chef Chan Hanzhong with the Danish team from Glyngøre Shellfish.

A photo of a beach filled with untouched, unwanted oysters got a lot of attention. The picture of a beach on the northern Danish coast at Limfjorden was posted on Chinese social media by the Danish Embassy in Beijing. Although the Pacific oysters are far form popular in Denmark, where they are a threat to the coastal eco system, they are loved by many Chinese people.

The embassy’s post has been seen more than 6.5 million times and has been shared or commented on 40.000 times. The story has also been brought in big Chinese media such as People’s Daily and Global Times.

This post from the Danish Embassy in China caught a surprisingly big amount of attention.

“Make the visa requirement easier and offer 10 year multiple visa (to Chinese), I think your oyster disaster will be resolved in about five years,” one person commented on how to help the Danes with their problem.

The Chinese enthusiasm for oyster bunches is that it is a great delicacy in China and the idea of whole oyster beaches left alone without being eaten, has meant that the Chinese are going wild to help Denmark to eat through their invasive oyster problem.

Chinese Master Chef Chan Hanzhong has come to the Danish coast along with a TV team to make a documentary of the unwanted oysters. Together with Svend Bonde, local oyster fisherman and owner of Glyngøre Shellfish, Chan went out to taste the Pacific oysters that can be found in Danish waters, and he wasn’t disappointed.

“The oysters grow so slowly here that they get meatier than those we get in China,” chef Chan explained to the local paper, Nordjyske. He believes that the oysters invading Denmark could both be exported to China and attract Chinese tourists.

Svend Bonde who owns and runs the local firm Glyngøre Shellfish shares the hope that the oyster problem can be turned into something positive. “I don’t think we will ever have a better chance to get rid of some of the Pacific oysters,” he says to gbtimes.

It will however take quite some time and money before Bonde gets the permissions he needs to ship oysters to China. He therefore takes all the media attention with coolness. “A lot of people have written to me and called me, but I remain calm. After 20 years in this business I know that it’s all about being persistent.”

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