Regional shellfish conference brings industry professionals to B - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Regional shellfish conference brings industry professionals to Biloxi

DMR hosted the annual Gulf and South Atlantic States Shellfish Conference. (Photo source: WLOX) DMR hosted the annual Gulf and South Atlantic States Shellfish Conference. (Photo source: WLOX)
he strength of the seafood industry in South Mississippi depends a lot on the quality of the product that comes out of our waters. (Photo source: WLOX) he strength of the seafood industry in South Mississippi depends a lot on the quality of the product that comes out of our waters. (Photo source: WLOX)
The problem for Mississippi fishermen lies in the amount of product available, especially oysters. (Photo source: WLOX) The problem for Mississippi fishermen lies in the amount of product available, especially oysters. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Dozens of seafood and health officials from around the region are getting up to speed on the latest in their industries this week in Biloxi.

The strength of the seafood industry in South Mississippi depends a lot on the quality of the product that comes out of our waters. There are a number of agencies that have a say in what has an effect on that quality.

Those agencies met in Biloxi to give an update on procedures for making sure the shellfish harvested are the highest quality possible.

"Growing oysters is one thing, but when you want to sell those oysters, when you want to consume those, there's a public health issue there," said Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Executive Director Jamie Miller.

DMR hosted the annual Gulf and South Atlantic States Shellfish Conference. The conference featured speakers from the DMR, the Food and Drug Administration, and other officials. According to the DMR, Mississippi is doing well in the quality of product coming out of the gulf.

"The State of Mississippi has gained a reputation as having some of the highest quality and the safest seafood product in the country," said Joe Jewell, DMR Marine Fisheries Director.

The problem for Mississippi fishermen lies in the amount of product available, especially oysters. Harvest numbers haven't even been close to the pre-Katrina stats yet. DMR officials blame a number of factors including the storm, the BP oil spill, and the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.

But, they say things are starting to improve.

"We hope to see better numbers this year and in following years," said Miller.

That improvement is what the folks at this conference were hoping to help with. This regional conference lasts through Thursday.

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