France has deployed drones, helicopters, boat patrols equipped with night vision googles and Republican Guards on horseback to foil oyster rustlers who swiped tonnes of the prized shellfish ahead of New Year’s Eve.
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Oysters are a festive delicacy in France and the Christmas-New Year holidays account for half of farmers’ annual business.
The French usually eat them raw with lemon juice or shallot-infused vinegar, washed down with a glass of white wine.
But two mystery oyster "plagues" that wiped out up to 90 per cent of the salty seafood in 2008 and 2011 have left prices high and numbers scarce, which has led to a worrying rise in thefts in some areas.
The first robbery struck early, in October,…
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