Oystermen give 2 tonnes after theft

Support comes after theft causes €40,000 loss

20 December 2017

An oyster farmer who lost seven tonnes of oysters in a raid at Arcachon has been backed by other farmers who gave him two tonnes of their own to help.

The gesture comes as the ostréiculteurs recognised that the record theft – Thomas Dehillotte lost three-quarters of production, worth €40,000 – could have wiped out the new farm at Gujan-Mestras, just across the bay from Cap-Ferret.

Help came from businesses all round the Bassin d’Arcachon as they rallied to help 29-year-old Thomas who had just taken over his father’s farm.

The mairie at Gujan-Mestras, local groups, and residents all chipped in to help as they knew farmers could not insure their exposed farms out in the bay.

An emotional Thomas did not want to comment.

He lost about 700 bags of oysters in the October raid. His mother, Sylvie, said at the time it was a “cat­astrophe, it would be difficult to get back”.

Gendarmerie patrols usually protect the farms but they had not started at the time. Officers said they were following a “serious” line of inquiry.

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