An oysterman in Bluff say this season's quality is a vast improvement on previous years.
A recent survey of the Foveaux Strait oyster beds shows the numbers of takeable size oysters have increased by 16% since the last survey in 2007. The allowable catch is 7.5 million.
The fishery has been plagued by the Bonamia disease which has affected about 50 million oysters.
Oysterman Keith Lovett says the disease is less prevalent and this year's shellfish quality is a major improvement.
He says they're fat, white, sweet and a half size up on last year.
Saturday marks the beginning of the 18th annual Bluff oyster festival.