Governor Bryant creates Oyster Council to help boost industry - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Governor Bryant creates Oyster Council to help boost industry

Coast businessman Dave Dennis will chair the governor's oyster council. (Photo source: WLOX) Coast businessman Dave Dennis will chair the governor's oyster council. (Photo source: WLOX)
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  • DMR leader vows Mississippi oyster industry will get attention in 2015

    DMR leader vows Mississippi oyster industry will get attention in 2015

    Thursday, January 29 2015 4:56 PM EST2015-01-29 21:56:00 GMT
    Friday, January 30 2015 6:54 AM EST2015-01-30 11:54:14 GMT
    The oyster harvest in Mississippi has declined by more than 80 percent in the past decade. Following a string of manmade and natural disasters affecting the industry, the DMR is looking at ways to restore this once thriving industry.   More >>
    The oyster harvest in Mississippi has declined by more than 80 percent in the past decade. Following a string of manmade and natural disasters affecting the industry, the DMR is looking at ways to restore this once thriving industry.   More >>
  • CMR considers changes to oyster dredges

    CMR considers changes to oyster dredges

    Tuesday, January 20 2015 1:25 PM EST2015-01-20 18:25:35 GMT
    Tuesday, January 20 2015 1:25 PM EST2015-01-20 18:25:36 GMT
    The Commission on Marine Resources is considering changes in the type and weight of dredges used by oyster fishermen. Chairman Richard Gollott says he'd like to do away with the so called "basket" dredges and reduce the weight of legal dredges.More >>
    The Commission on Marine Resources is considering changes in the type and weight of dredges used by oyster fishermen. Chairman Richard Gollott says he'd like to do away with the so called "basket" dredges and reduce the weight of legal dredges.More >>
  • Oyster fishermen hopeful season holds out longer

    Oyster fishermen hopeful season holds out longer

    Friday, November 28 2014 5:27 PM EST2014-11-28 22:27:59 GMT
    Saturday, November 29 2014 6:53 AM EST2014-11-29 11:53:08 GMT
    Oyster fishermen braved choppy seas and chilly temperatures as they worked the reefs early Friday. While shoppers were filling their bags with bargains on Black Friday, commercial fishermen were hoping to fill their sacks with fresh, Mississippi oysters. This year's limited oyster season opened two weeks ago in Mississippi waters. More >>
    Oyster fishermen braved choppy seas and chilly temperatures as they worked the reefs early Friday. While shoppers were filling their bags with bargains on Black Friday, commercial fishermen were hoping to fill their sacks with fresh, Mississippi oysters. This year's limited oyster season opened two weeks ago in Mississippi waters. More >>
  • Oyster harvest about as expected during limited season

    Oyster harvest about as expected during limited season

    Tuesday, November 18 2014 5:48 PM EST2014-11-18 22:48:03 GMT
    Wednesday, November 19 2014 6:54 AM EST2014-11-19 11:54:06 GMT
    Despite fewer oysters and fewer fishermen, this year's Mississippi oyster season is going, "as well as expected." The Commission on Marine Resources heard an update on the limited season at Tuesday's monthly meeting.More >>
    Despite fewer oysters and fewer fishermen, this year's Mississippi oyster season is going, "as well as expected." The Commission on Marine Resources heard an update on the limited season at Tuesday's monthly meeting.More >>
  • Oyster fishermen battle cold and make history on opening day

    Oyster fishermen battle cold and make history on opening day

    Friday, November 14 2014 5:21 PM EST2014-11-14 22:21:52 GMT
    Saturday, November 15 2014 6:54 AM EST2014-11-15 11:54:09 GMT
    The Mississippi oyster season opened at sunrise Friday morning. Fishermen faced frigid weather and the likely prospect of another disappointing season.More >>
    The Mississippi oyster season opened at sunrise Friday morning. Fishermen faced frigid weather and the likely prospect of another disappointing season.More >>
  • DMR looks to aquaculture as part of oyster replenishment

    DMR looks to aquaculture as part of oyster replenishment

    Friday, November 7 2014 4:03 PM EST2014-11-07 21:03:06 GMT
    Friday, November 7 2014 6:15 PM EST2014-11-07 23:15:41 GMT
    They benefit the environment and help boost the economy. But in recent years, oyster production in the Mississippi Sound has taken a hit from manmade and commercial disasters. And that's why the DMR is looking closely at how best to replenish the reefs.More >>
    They benefit the environment and help boost the economy. But in recent years, oyster production in the Mississippi Sound has taken a hit from manmade and commercial disasters. And that's why the DMR is looking closely at how best to replenish the reefs.More >>
  • Innovative aquaculture program grows oysters

    Innovative aquaculture program grows oysters

    Tuesday, October 21 2014 2:06 PM EDT2014-10-21 18:06:49 GMT
    Wednesday, October 22 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-10-22 10:53:04 GMT
    It's an innovative approach that could help the struggling oyster industry in Pass Christian. Businessman Joe Jenkins is testing a program that involves growing oyster larvae in large tanks on land and then transporting the oyster spat to an existing reef to finish its growth.More >>
    It's an innovative approach that could help the struggling oyster industry in Pass Christian. Businessman Joe Jenkins is testing a program that involves growing oyster larvae in large tanks on land and then transporting the oyster spat to an existing reef to finish its growth.More >>
  • Dramatic downturn in gulf oyster harvests since BP oil spill

    Dramatic downturn in gulf oyster harvests since BP oil spill

    Longtime fishermen and wholesalers at the commercial seafood docks in Pass Christian are not surprised by a new report which finds the gulf oyster harvest has declined dramatically in the four years sinceMore >>
    Mississippi fishermen harvested nearly 400,000 sacks of oysters in the season before the BP oil spill. Since the spill in 2010, the "best" oyster season has been just 78,000 sacks. Those figures go along with a new report which finds the overall gulf oyster harvest has dropped dramatically since the oil spill.More >>
  • Limited oyster season pays off for fishermen

    Limited oyster season pays off for fishermen

    Tuesday, December 16 2014 6:44 PM EST2014-12-16 23:44:31 GMT
    Tuesday, December 16 2014 9:23 PM EST2014-12-17 02:23:59 GMT
    The Commission on Marine Resources got an update Tuesday on this year's limited oyster season in Mississippi.More >>
    The Commission on Marine Resources got an update Tuesday on this year's limited oyster season in Mississippi.More >>
  • Fishermen find a way to cope with the slow start of oyster season

    Fishermen find a way to cope with the slow start of oyster season

    Sunday, November 16 2014 4:44 PM EST2014-11-16 21:44:36 GMT
    Monday, November 17 2014 6:54 AM EST2014-11-17 11:54:07 GMT
    This year's oyster season is off to a slow start, but fishermen in Pass Christian are still finding a way to make a catch.More >>
    This year's oyster season is off to a slow start, but fishermen in Pass Christian are still finding a way to make a catch.More >>
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -  Governor Phil Bryant says it's time Mississippi focus on the future of its oyster industry.

As WLOX News first reported last week, the governor on Monday signed an executive order creating the Governor's Oyster Council. And the new group already has an ambitious goal for growing the industry.

Before signing the executive order creating the new council, Governor Phil Bryant called Mississippi oysters the "soybeans of the sea."

"If you look at what effort we put into soybeans in Mississippi, the research, the development, the funding. If someone wants to try and grow soybeans, we do all that we can to try and help them," said Governor Bryant.

He says oyster fishermen deserve that same attention. Especially since the industry has been hit so hard by natural and manmade disasters in recent years.

"Just to give you an indication of where we are, in 2004 Mississippi harvested 400,000 sacks of oysters. This year we're going to harvest about five percent of that. And so that is not the way we want to move into the future,” said DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller.

Coast businessman Dave Dennis will chair the governor's oyster council.

"The goal is to get it up to roughly a million sacks of oysters by 2025. That's a big goal, that's a strong goal and it's going to take a concerted effort," said Dennis.

The council will look at variety of ways to enhance and expand the oyster industry, including aqua culture and oyster farming.

"I think we have to diversify the way we think about harvesting and growing. I think aqua culture will play a big part in that. I think farming will play a big part in that. You can control a lot of those conditions. So it will soften those years where we have poor environmental conditions or even disasters," said Director Miller.

After signing the executive order creating the new oyster council, the governor remarked, "It's done everybody, let's go to work."

Chairman Dennis says there's no limit on how many people can be part of the oyster council. He expects there will be representatives from across the industry, from fishermen to seafood processors to restaurant owners.

Copyright 2015 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Governor Bryant creates Oyster Council to help boost industryMore>>

  • Oyster fishermen and seafood dealers react to Governor's Council on Oysters

    Oyster fishermen and seafood dealers react to Governor's Council on Oysters

    Tuesday, February 3 2015 6:46 PM EST2015-02-03 23:46:50 GMT
    Tuesday, February 3 2015 7:35 PM EST2015-02-04 00:35:24 GMT
    What do oyster fishermen and seafood dealers think of the newly created Governor's Oyster Council? Interesting question, since we didn't see any fishermen at Monday's ceremony creating the council. So, WLOX News visited the docks in Pass Christian on Tuesday morning for reaction to the initiative.More >>
    What do oyster fishermen and seafood dealers think of the newly created Governor's Oyster Council? Interesting question, since we didn't see any fishermen at Monday's ceremony creating the council. So, WLOX News visited the docks in Pass Christian on Tuesday morning for reaction to the initiative.More >>
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