I’ve known all the shellfish crises: the invasion of sea bream that ate everything that was on land before the bags were used, the decline of larvae in the mid-1950s, the disappearance of Portuguese oysters or the famous TBT (tributyl) crisis. Tin) found in paints applied to boat hulls, etc.
His oyster farmer friends speak of him affectionately. For Pauline Psaget, “It was a memory of the port. His grandparents were the first registered oyster farmers in La Teste.” His father made him drop out of high school at 17 after earning his baccalaureate, and if Raymond Botet entered the family business in 1955, “he would have dreamed something else”, according to Jean-Louis Boussac. In fact, his friends recognize him as “a very cultured and humane person.”
His friend Jean-Louis, who accompanied him to Cancale, recalled that “he could put on his old jeans and jacket during the day and in the evening in a tailcoat when he went to see those friends from the Rotary Club, of which he was president twice.”
Modern oyster farms
Christian Perot, his neighbour, who also worked with him for twenty years on his farm, specifies that he “was the first to introduce the Portuguese and the sinuses into the basin”, because “there was less loss of the sinuses. It was a necessity”, asserts Pullen. He was also one of the first to have gigas in the pool. This cupped oyster originated in the Pacific Northwest that replaced the Portuguese.
A great reader of specialized books, he was always on the lookout for innovations in his line of trade, which Jean-Louis affirms: “He turned the page on the cultivation of certain oysters. He was deeply into oyster farms and modernity.”
Transfer and generosity
Christian Bierut, still says about him that “he was a man who wanted to concede. He did not issue orders, but instructions. Thomas Castaing, who was his employee, testifies that «what mattered to him was transmission.»
Everyone also agrees that he was “kind and generous. He was often a sponsor for young men who wanted to start in business. He wanted to be involved. As Pauline and Thomas relate,” he could travel great distances just to say hello to customers. In fact, he’s only been doing shipping since 1961, no direct sales, “but if we need oysters, he’ll help,” says Jean-Louis.