Some parts of Louisiana remain off-limits for oyster harvest
HOUMA - Louisiana remains the biggest oyster producing state in the nation, but several areas will remain off-limits to harvesting this year because of shortages.
Barataria Bay is among the areas off-limits to harvesting.
Steve Beck is a biologist for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. He says the stock of oysters is down about 19 percent.
Freshwater diversions and the 2010 Gulf Coast oil spill have been among factors the oyster industry has blamed for the decline.
State and federal figures show that about 12.7 million pounds of oysters were produced in Louisiana in 2014 and the industry is valued at $317 million, employing about 3,500 people.
Oyster season opens Wednesday in parts of Louisiana.
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