Oyster researcher under fire
BATON ROUGE- A former LSU assistant professor is being investigated after allegations that he was running a side business selling Alabama oysters he said were from Louisiana.
John Supan, an oyster researcher, is being investigated for selling Alabama oysters here under the premise that those oysters were being grown in Grand Isle, which does not sit well with fisherman and those in the restaurant industry.
"There's that trust factor that people in Louisiana obviously want to get their oysters and seafood from Louisiana and from the Gulf around here," Eric Carnegie, owner of Jolie Pearl in Baton Rouge said.
According to an affidavit, a south Louisiana oysterman reported that he paid for thousands of special oyster seeds specifically from the hatchery in Grand Isle. The state says he may have been misled which is unethical and possibly illegal.
According to LSU's website, Supan was an assistant professor. He also worked as a researcher for a grant program, Louisiana Sea Grant, where he researched ways to make Louisiana oysters better and more easily replenished.
A recent Associated Press story reported that he had retired after 25 years. He could not be reached for questions about the state's investigation.
At many area restaurants, it is all about Louisiana oysters, which is how many retailers here market their product.
“You definitely have a trust factor with that. You're not there watching them as they're getting them off the boat. You trust that what you're asking for is what they're giving to you,” said Carengie.