Could oyster sack limit hurt local restaurants and businesses?

Could oyster sack limit hurt local restaurants and businesses?
It's not just the fish markets that will suffer, so will local restaurants that have oysters on the menu like the Ole Biloxi Fillin Station.(Image Source: WLOX News)
It's not just the fish markets that will suffer, so will local restaurants that have oysters on the menu like the Ole Biloxi Fillin Station.(Image Source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Quality Seafood in Biloxi sells oysters year-round. To keep up with the demand, they buy them from neighboring states but always look forward to snagging the local ones.

"It's going to be tough, because it's probably going to raise oyster prices, depending on what Louisiana or Texas does depending on the storms. I'm not sure how that's going to affect their production this year," said Jim Gunkel, who is the business manager at Quality Seafood.

MS oyster harvest slashed to just 10,000 sacks

The idea of fewer Mississippi oysters may be disappointing, but Gunkel understands the Commission on Marine Resource's decision to lower the sack limit.

"We don't want to have damage to the reefs where we can't recover, and if we lose the reef, my understanding is it takes three years to build it back," said Gunkel.

It's not just the fish markets that will suffer. So will local restaurants that have oysters on the menu, like the Ole Biloxi Fillin' Station.

"It's going to mean for us having to outsource for our different oysters from different places, and we don't like to do that," said Hiram McCall, who is the manager at the Ole Biloxi Fillin' Station.

McCall said during oyster season, they usually go through 30 to 40 sacks a week.

"As they keep bringing Mississippi counts down, we all know Mississippi has the best oysters in the world, it just causes more problems and more headaches," said McCall

McCall said the oysters have gotten so costly in the past, they even had to nix them from their menu. Hopefully, that won't be the case this year.

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