Louisiana seafood industry hurting due to high amounts of fresh water pouring into the Gulf

Updated: Jun. 17, 2019 at 10:35 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Your next trip for seafood might cost you a little more, that is if you can even find what you are looking for.

The fresh water pouring from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico is creating conditions that aren’t livable for the wildlife there.

"Some of our public beds we’ve actually had up to 100 percent mortality,” said Patrick Banks, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fisheries. “We’ve heard from some of the private lease holders they’re seeing significant mortality as well.”

For restaurants like Mike Anderson’s, that means its supply of oysters could diminish.

"We've already been talking to our supplier and they are saying they're seeing the trend now where they're starting to have a little bit of a problem with oysters here and there but so far has not affected us yet,” said Michael Pearl, the manager at Mike Anderson’s. “In the near future it definitely could affect us or will affect us."

Banks said there is nothing that can be done to mitigate the damage until the water levels go down.

"Unfortunately, we're at the mercy of the river right now,” Banks said. “There's really not much that we can do in terms of oysters to try to protect those animals when there's a flood going on."

Despite the losses, Pearl said he is still receiving a steady flow of quality oysters, and as long as it stays that way, he said he will keep selling them.

"As long as they demand it, we'll supply it and as long as it’s of the proper quality that we expect then we will definitely get it for our customer,” he said.

Prices are holding steady for now. Pearl said he is expecting those to increase in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.