Commercial oyster harvests east of the Mississippi River are at historic lows, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The low commercial harvest of sack-sized oysters, which are three inches in length or larger, is consistent with low spat sets or a lack of juvenile oysters attaching to reef for grow out since the start of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, according to a press release from the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Oyster harvests in the same locations were near historic highs in 2009, but a dramatic decrease in spat sets and adult oysters have public officials concerned.
“We are monitoring the conditions as we have historically done and have seen the amount of harvestable sack-sized oysters decrease over the last few years,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The science is consistent with what we have heard from some oyster fishermen and dealers in anecdotal reports. Despite some claims that have been made publicly, the oyster industry has not been made whole. We have a long way to go before we know the full scope of impacts in the Gulf, but what we are currently seeing worries us.”