Can you imagine that in 1864 Londoners consumed nearly 700 million oysters? Quite a lot, right? The number dropped to only 3 million a hundred years later due to overfishing. Today native oyster fishing is forbidden during spawning season, between May and August. Slowly but surely this precious delicacy is becoming plentiful again.
Spawning oysters are also milky and not as delectable. This explains the so-called "R"-myth that says that oysters are to be eaten exclusively during months that contain letter "r"—from SeptembeR to ApRil. In fact, spawning has often already begun in April and has not yet finished in September, so the seasonal specialty is best from October to February.