Juan Manuel “the Oyster Man”, 30 years diving for oysters in Mazatlan


Cold temperatures and tidal waves are not obstacles for Juan Manuel, who for 30 years has extracted oysters from the bottom of the Mazatlan sea.

The oyster is one of the most sought-after species, as it is considered an aphrodisiac.

Oysters are on great demand in Mazatlan all year round (Archive)

Before 6:00 in the morning, the man of the sea leaves his house, in the Lázaro Cárdenas neighborhood, to immediately go to, either to Los Pinos, Norte or Del Mar beach.

A face mask, snorkel, tire, net bag, chisel and a hammer, are the tools used by the so-called Oyster Man, which has to submerge to a depth of 4 meters (13 feet), in order to find what he’s looking for.

Juan Manuel “the Oyster Man”, 30 years diving for oysters in Mazatlan (Photo: OEM)

“With a metal bar I dive and look for the scallop shells between the rocks, and then take them out and put them on the net that is tied to the lifebuoy that floats in the sea”, Juan Manuel explained.

No one taught him this activity, he learned it at a young age just by observing the scallop seekers who come to the Mazatlan Bay.

Juan Manuel extracts about 10 kilos of oysters a day, from the depth of the sea, and then he cleans them and sells them for 100 pesos the dozen.

Juan Manuel acknowledges having heard that among the shells there are pearls, but after 3 decades, he has not ever encountered one so far during the extraction of this rich mollusk.

He assures that in the region there is no better oyster than the one in Mazatlan, although there are other species, which are also very rich and demanded.

Facts about the “Oyster Man”

-30 years diving for oysters.

-10 kilos of oyster extracted daily.

100 pesos for every dozen.

The Mazatlan Post with information from OEM