Oyster Aquaculture Offers Hope for Louisiana Fishery


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Among the most serious environmental consequences of last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the damage done to Louisiana’s oyster beds, one of the world’s last thriving wild oyster fisheries. In many areas, 60 to 80 percent of the oysters were wiped out, not by oil, but by the massive infusion of freshwater diverted from the Mississippi River into wetlands in an effort to keep oil from the coast. As a result, oysters were killed en masse by the reduced salinity.

In this Yale Environment 360 video, journalist Jon Brand reports on an experimental oyster farm and hatchery on Grand Isle, Louisiana, that offers hope for a smoother recovery for the Gulf’s oysters and its oystermen. At the hatchery, where they raise oysters suspended in the Gulf’s waters, Louisiana State University marine biologist John Supan and his colleagues are optimistic that while oyster aquaculture will never replace traditional methods of harvesting oysters in Louisiana, it could supplement them and take pressure off the struggling wild oyster fishery.

29 May 2011


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