Le Figaro Marseille
We're proud of ourselves," says Cyril Coustaury soberly when asked about his latest find. The 49-year-old oyster farmer and his partner Michaël Gaudino couldn't believe it when they caught a very large shellfish earlier this week, which breaks the world record for the largest oyster in the world.
The mollusc, with a size of 34.5 centimetres, slightly surpasses the previous record set only a few weeks ago by one of their colleagues in the same commune, Port-Saint-Louis-du-Rhône. "We'd been buying small oysters for seven years and putting them back in the water for farming. Some of them were getting bigger and more unsaleable, so we let them go again instead of throwing them away," Coustaury told Le Figaro. During a routine dive in their mussel bed, his partner came up with the "world champion" shellfish and a dozen other very large ones.
Oyster breaks new world record
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A conducive environment
When measurements were made, the oyster turned out to be 4.5 centimetres larger than the one caught by Daniel Castejon. The latter, who works in the family business Camargue Coquillages, welcomed the news. "We've known each other for many years, I'm very happy for them. I don't take it badly, we share the two records. They have the longest and I have the heaviest," he told Le Figaro. "It's great for the fishermen in the area. This allows us to know that we produce very beautiful oysters in the Camargue," he points out, indicating in passing that his oyster "is doing very well".
Are these two impressive discoveries the result of chance? For Daniel Castejon, the quality of the environment of the Camargue and its surroundings favours the growth of these giant molluscs. "We have a particular biotope that is conducive to the proper development of the oyster. The supply of fresh water from the Rhône encourages the multiplication of plankton, which is the food of oysters," he explains. "If you look at the map of France, the good oyster production areas are all in estuaries," he adds.
Just like Daniel Castejon's, Cyril Coustaury and Michael Gaudino's oyster will be preserved and released into the water. Its owners have already taken steps to have their record certified by the famous Guinness World Records. "We're doing this to represent the profession. In any case, we are happy to have the largest in the world," says Cyril, who has been in the profession for more than thirty years.