By BONNIE BOLDEN, The News-Star of Monroe
By BONNIE BOLDEN, The News-Star of Monroe MONROE, La. (AP) – Oyster dressing is safe this year. Since Deepwater Horizon…
By BONNIE BOLDEN, The News-Star of Monroe
MONROE, La. (AP) – Oyster dressing is safe this year.
Since Deepwater Horizon played in 2010, 4 billion to 8.3 billion subtidal oysters were estimated to be lost across the Gulf Coast. Many states are fighting.
Louisiana is the only state to produce at a level of or higher than before the game, according to Seth Blitch, The Nature Conservancy Director of Coastal and Marine Conservation in Louisiana.
“Ostron Gulfwide is kinda in a bad place, but Louisiana is actually the kind of bright spot for commercial oysters production. Louisiana produces more oysters than any other state in the country, which is good,” said Blitch.
TNC recently released a report on oysters restoration in the Gulf.
According to the report, about 50 percent to 85 percent oysters have been lost throughout the Gulf compared with historical levels.
The cheese industry draws about $ 220 million to Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The decrease can not only affect oyster hunters, but also restaurants and industries using the shell, for example, to use it to complement chicken feed.
The gulf produces more oysters than elsewhere in the United States, but there are challenges to restore and maintain production, including:
1; changes in freshwater flow along the bay,
– sedimentation from more frequent storms,
– inconsistent replacement of ostron stream material, called “cultch” and
Earlier in November, the state of Alabama announced that there would be no oystership in state water due to lack of access.
Scott Bannon, head of the Marine Resources Division of Alabama Conservation Agency, said that a week-long season in 2017 produced 136 sacks of oysters, according to an Associated Press report. In 2013, 7000 sacks were harvested, Bannon said.
“They knew they could not open it and have some oysters survive,” Blitch said.
He pointed to Apalachicola Bay in Florida Panhandle, a bay that once produced 90 percent of Florida’s oysters and about 10 percent of the nation’s.
“But it does not work anymore,” said Blitch. It has fallen at really difficult times only in the last four or five years. “
Mississippi said that he produced about 20,000 sacks of oysters last year. Fifteen years ago, the state produced nearly half a million sacks in a season. 19659002] In Texas, TNC launches two oyster power restoration projects – a 60-hectare reef restoration project in Copano Bay and one for a 50-hectare reef in Galveston Bay. Half of each will be designated as a marina sanctuary and the other half will be available for harvest and open to commercial fishing.
“Louisiana is unique because most of the oysters we produce come from private commercial leases, which means that individuals or companies will rent submerged land – coastal areas – from the state and then they will actually, at their own expense, put material at the bottom of that site, Blitch says .
Oysters tend to live in estuaries that have a mixture of salt and fresh water. Larva sisters attached as a rock or must and develop unti I am harvested.
“Ideal is the must because oysters grow on each other… But the shell is inadequate,” Blitch says. Restaurants will put them in landfill, and shucking houses sell it as part of chicken food or other delivery options. “There are an economic incentive to keep it and sell it. “
” Over 90 percent of Louisiana’s production comes from these leases. Although there are public areas that you can harvest, most of the leases come, says Blitch.
Blitch said that it is very possible when reefs are valued for more than must and meat. Oysters contribute to the habitat of other animals and protect landmass from erosion.
East filters water to feed and help maintain and improve water quality.
“In addition, they are also a delicious treat and they are the livelihood of many people who harvest seafood,” said Blitch.
Polarized views can lead to thinking of oysters as either a habitat or a fishing, he said.
“My opinion and this report aim to suggest that there should not be either / or situation. These things are linked, they are causation. We have some kind of common interest in having a really healthy oyster industry, the seafood industry, but
An integrated approach can benefit both. It can be difficult to handle the ozone resources, but there are ways to work together to take it back, Blitch said.
Louisiana is in a great form of oysters like a fish, but in terms of a habitat, “less so,” Blitch said.
After the game, about $ 160 million is available among the five states for specific oysters recovery. However, there are not many examples of which reef that looked like a century ago.
It’s true everywhere, he said. to population decline.
On Louisiana rents people enter terial and growing reefs that look like they grow, but they are harvested, so it’s inconvenient.
It’s not a pit to reap for restoration, Blitch said. The reed helps with the habitat w
“(Ostron) is a really good proxy for what happens in coastal systems because they are both a habitat and they are a fishing and they are a good indicator of the health of ecosystems. For whatever reason
A Louisiana lake stands as an example of what a reed that is not harvested can do for the area around it.
Sabine Lake on the Louisiana-Texas border has not been harvested commercial since 1966. There were problems with water quality in connection with the source of the source of the source, Blitch said.
Point source pollution is defined by the Clean Water Act as having a “discernible, limited and discreet transport,” like a pipe, well or container. “
“Because oysters filter water, you can not pull oysters from water that has pollution problems and sell them to people to eat. So it closed a long time,” Blitch said.
A few years ago, the Food and Drug Administration considered the water to be clean now and the oysters were safe to eat, but it was still closed by law.  About one million sacks of oysters were estimated to be in Sabine Lake Reef, “Humongous,” said Blitch.
Some would harvest it, and others pointed to the reef’s availability as a natural infrastructure.
Oyster reef builds vertically and stands out of the water, Blitch said, so they are a natural barrier to wave energy. The land bordering the reef showed less erosion than in other areas along the lake.
It is also acted as a physical barrier against water with more salinity and protected marsh plants.
About one third of the reef is on the Texas side. That state sees us trained as an asset for recreational fishing. Many of the squid and redfish are caught on the reef, and they do not allow oyster harvest.  Earlier this year, Louisiana Legislature forbade all oyster crops on the lake.
There are different ways to do reef restoration, and they do not necessarily prohibit harvesting. The goals can work in harmony, said Blitch.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has reef management authority. They do “cultch planting”, which means that you are kidding out for a reef to grow.
During the eight years, Blitch has lived in Louisiana, the TNC has laid out about six linear miles of reef projects. They include rebar cages filled with shells for prefabricated concrete circles. Last in Calcasieu Lake, TNC baskets filled with stones and shells lowered in an area of coastal erosion.
“If you put them in the right places, so many marine species reproduce by spitting, and they become part of subplankton and then they want to settle for something and stick to it and grow like corals. The oysters are no different, he says.
The correct foundation is the way the rents and reefs succeed.  TNC wants their projects to continue to function as reefs. They do not necessarily want them to be harvested directly, but they are often close to lease agreements. The Calcasieu Lake project is in a public seed.
“When we succeed in growing oysters, they are to reproduce. And they will put their spit or baby birds in areas immediately adjacent to where you can harvest, so it’s a kind of link to the fish where restoration can help the commercial side of oyster ridge, “Blitch says.
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