MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) - It's the beginning of a desperate fight to save South Mississippi's oysters. More than 60 boats were sent out into the Mississippi Sound on Monday to start relocating oysters.
Department of Marine Resources bosses launched this emergency operation to move oysters out of the western waters of the sound. The oysters will be relocated to the eastern part of the sound and Biloxi Back Bay.
The move became necessary after Louisiana opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway and fresh water threatened oyster reefs.
The agency hired local fishermen to save this year's oyster crop, and potentially save their livelihoods as well.
"They just want to go fish. They want to earn their living like their used to doing," said DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller. "I want them to take away that the department is serious about their livelihood, about their industry. We do try to manage based on them as a part of the resource, not just the oysters themselves, but that we keep them employed."
The lengthy process of moving and unloading thousands of oysters is underway, and it could last well into the night.