GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The spillway opening could potentially have a negative impact on the South Mississippi restaurant industry, due to the already limited supply of oysters.
Austin McQueen, who purchases oysters for several Gulf Coast restaurants, says the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening is being met with a lot of mixed feelings inside the oyster industry along the Gulf Coast.
"Right now, everyone is struggling to buy oysters. They're very scarce. When demand gets so high and supply so low, as you can imagine, prices soar. There are a lot of unknowns surrounding this opening that make this different than any of the openings before," said McQueen.
Meanwhile, some coastal restaurants haven't been able to get their hand on any local oysters since the Mississippi reefs closed in early December.
Captain Hook's Seafood and More owner Hung Le says when his Gulfport restaurant opened a few months ago, he only wanted to use local seafood. When the Mississippi oyster reefs closed, he had to stop serving oysters.
"We are probably going to try to find some other vendors that may have some to bring some in, but we prefer to bring in local oysters... but if there's no other options, then we might have to go that route," said Le.
According to the Department of Marine Resources, there's no set date on when Mississippi's oyster season could reopen.