Seafood lovers chomping at the bit to get a taste of this season's Bluff oysters are being forced to wait because bad weather has created shortage.
Wild, windy weather has stopped boats from hauling in their treasure, with one oyster company braving the seas today for the first time since Sunday.
Manager of Barnes Wild Bluff Oysters, Graeme Wright, says locals will get the "first cracking" of oysters from their haul today. The factory is opening its doors for a special processing on a Saturday.
"The demand already exceeds the supply," Mr Wright says.
He's only had three days of processing since the season started on March 1.
The local demand is always the strongest in the first two to three weeks, he says.
"We have continuous queues in the factory shop."
Mr Wright also provides oysters to most major centres, where they're then distributed to restaurants and shops.
The company can haul in around 48,000 oysters in just one day.
The season runs till the end of August and with the weather predicted to clear in the coming week, Mr Wright is hopeful he can keep the hungry locals and the rest of New Zealand satisfied.
"We take it as it comes," he says.