Louisiana Seafood: Did BP Spill and River Diversions Strain Oysters?

"It’s difficult to talk about Louisiana seafood these days without the BP oil spill working its way into the conversation. It wasn’t that long ago, after all, that television screens were filled with high-def images of fouled coastal marsh and angry fishermen forlornly staring at their idled fleet."

"But some scientists and fishers say it remains impossible to gauge the 2010 spill’s precise environmental and biological toll. Asked about a 15-percent drop in the statewide oyster harvest in the two years following the spill, experts say the spill definitely continues to be a potential factor, but is only one of several.

Perhaps as damaging as the oil and the temporary closures of thousands of acres of Gulf waters in the wake of the disaster three years ago, they say, was the millions of gallons of fresh Mississippi River water that flowed into the Lake Pontchartrain Basin east of the river in 2010 and 2011. Oysters, essentially immobile and unable to withstand the torrents of fresh water, bore the brunt."

Benjamin Alexander-Bloch reports for the New Orleans Times-Picayune July 13, 2013, as part of a multipart feature package.


"Louisiana Seafood: Shrimp, Crab Catch Mixed Post BP Oil Spill, River Diversions" (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 07/15/2013