First introduced to the area in the 1960s, Pacific Oysters have been laying siege to parts of Denmark’s coast. And last month the Danish embassy in China presented a media-savvy solution: a distress call from its weibo account for Chinese help.
Noting that the newcomers were threatening the population of native Limfjord oysters and creating wider ecological damage, the message was that visitors from China should “come and eat” the intruders. It soon went viral on WeChat and weibo, with oyster lovers offering to visit the country and cull the invaders.
Recipes were soon being sent to the Danish embassy’s weibo account and it was proposed that visitors from China were willing to fill their bellies should they be offered visa-free stays in Hamlet’s homeland. One netizen calculated that such a scheme would see Chinese tourists wipe out the unwanted oysters within five years, reports Lanjinger Financial News. “I solemnly swear to join the Danish Oyster Resistance Army,” another netizen quipped in an online comment reported by the New York Times.
The Danish embassy says that food companies from China are also offering to import the unwanted mollusks. At least the Chinese are familiar with the taste: 80% of the world’s oyster farms are in China, says CBN, and 80% of their produce is the Pacific Oyster variety.
As we pointed out in WiC164, the Chinese were delighted to help with a similar situation in Germany, after reports that hairy crabs were devouring local species in the country’s rivers. Hairy crab is considered a delicacy in China, where the invasion was seen in a more positive light. “In China, all the chemical factories and the serious pollution of rivers has led to a declining number of hairy crabs,” wrote the Beijing Times back in 2012. “On the other hand, Germany’s Elbe and Havel rivers have much cleaner water that are good for breeding.”
Back to the present day and the Danish embassy admits: “We knew food-related posts would attract some attention, but we did not foresee this frenzy at all.”