With more than 100 miles of pristine coastline, it’s no wonder Humboldt produces some of West Coast’s best seafood.

For generations, our family-run fishing operations have been dedicated to providing the freshest seafood. And in recent decades, they’ve been working to find new ways to sustainably harvest Dungeness crab, wild salmon, albacore tuna and oysters.

Over at Coast Seafoods, those years of efforts are paying off. These days, fully 70 percent of the fresh oysters eaten by millions of Californians come from the ideal conditions found in our bay.

At the same time, the oyster beds, located among the eel grasses of Humboldt Bay, are helping protect a habitat that could otherwise be threatened.

“Having a thriving shell fish industry has been a huge benefit for the bay,” says Greg Dale, operations manager at Coast Seafoods. “We were pushing for water quality standards long before there was environmental protection.”

Thanks to Humboldt’s mild climate, Greg and his team can farm oysters year round. They can also be sure to have enough of the delectable creatures on hand for Arcata’s famous Oyster Festival, which attracts more than 10,000 people to the small college town every June. Some people consider it one of the world’s top food festivals. (And exciting! Don’t miss the Oyster Calling Contest.)

Greg says that oysters, with their subtle flavors, can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed or broiled. They’re even used in a variety of cocktails. Oyster martini anyone? Hey, when it comes to this Humboldt delicacy, we’ll take them however they’re serving them.

But how does our bivalve expert like his oysters? “My favorite way to eat oysters,” Greg says, “is right here on the bay, first thing in the morning.”