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ผู้เขียน หัวข้อ: Oyster task force votes to keep Louisiana grounds closed  (อ่าน 2306 ครั้ง)
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« เมื่อ: มกราคม 28, 2011, 06:25:59 AM »


Byron Encalade, President of the Louisiana Oystermen Association. (Photo: YouTube/SaveUSEnergyJobs)

Oyster task force votes to keep Louisiana grounds closed

UNITED STATES
Friday, January 28, 2011, 01:00 (GMT + 9)


Louisiana's Oyster Task Force has decided it is still not a good time to open additional public oyster grounds for harvesting regardless of exhausted supplies after last year’s catastrophic BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This week, the task force voted unequivocally against a motion by Al Sunseri, an oyster dealer, advising the opening of more public grounds east of the Mississippi River in Louisiana. According to a state Wildlife and Fisheries report, recent surveys found that hardly any young "spat" oysters there are in question.

The Oyster Task Force last year supported the state's conclusion to keep public grounds there closed indefinitely to prevent harming spat, AP reports.

Now, the opposition remaining on the task force, which encompasses harvesters and other representatives of the state oyster industry, is still overwhelming.

A lack of oyster spat is prevalent in certain coastal zones. This is puzzling the scientists who spoke at this week’s task force meeting, WWLTV reports.

"That's really alarming, when we see large areas, some of the areas that are the heart of the predominant oyster seed ground, we're not seeing the young spat this year," said John Tesvich, chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Oysters can only rebound if spat are present.

Oyster fisher and President of the Louisiana Oystermen Association Byron Encalade noted that harvesters oppose opening the public grounds both out of fear of damaging spat and of breaking the old shells to which the spat affix themselves.

"There's not enough oysters out there to justify going out there," he highlighted.

Meanwhile, Sunseri, owner of the struggling P&J Oyster Co, plus Mike Voisin, head of a family-owned oyster processing firm, both want to open the public areas.

Voisin tried last year too. He said Louisiana’s oyster harvesters and dealers are seeing their market share jeopardised by oysters from elsewhere in the US as well as abroad.

"Korean oysters. They're out there," he summarised.

Even though Sunseri's motion failed on a voice vote, task force members agreed to collaborate with the state more painstakingly survey the area and better resolve the availability of marketable oysters and spat.

Since the Deepwater Horizon accident in April 2010, supplies of Louisiana oysters have plunged. Precautionary closures of oyster areas impaired supplies at first, and later the flow of fresh inland waters into the salty oyster grounds devastated most of the stock.

The state's oysters mainly grow in privately leased waters that run year-round, but Voisin pointed out that the public waters which open comprise a noteworthy source.

Related articles:

- Protecting the future of the oyster industry

- Louisiana oyster industry struggling the most


By Natalia Real
editorial@fis.com
www.fis.com
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