Gulf coast looks to maintain, restore oysters
MONROE, La. — The oyster dressing was safe this year. Since the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, 4 billion to 8.3 billion subtidal oysters were estimated to be lost across the Gulf coast. Many states are struggling. Louisiana is the only state producing at a level at or higher than before the spill, according to Seth Blitch, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of Coastal and Marine Conservation in Louisiana.
“Oysters Gulfwide are kind of in a bad spot, but Louisiana is actually sort of the bright spot in terms of commercial production of oysters. Louisiana produces more oysters than any other state in the country, which is good,” Blitch said.
TNC recently released a report on oyster restoration in the Gulf.
According to the report, there’s been about a 50 percent to 85 percent oyster loss throughout the Gulf when compared to historic levels.
The oyster industry pulls about $220 million to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The decrease could affect not only oyster harvesters but restaurants and industries that use the shell, such as using it to supplement chicken feed.