MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) - Calling it the soybean of the sea, Gov. Phil Bryant unveiled his plans to save the ailing oyster industry this morning. The governor's oyster council was formed earlier this year, and it has spent the past several months studying ways to revitalize an industry that has been hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
Council members say they have a goal of harvesting 1 million sacks of oysters a year by 2025. In order to reach that goal, there are plans to let oystermen lease up to 1,000 acres of state owned waters for periods of up to five years.
Officials say this would allow banks to lend money to the industry to develop new reefs.
Several other initiatives are also in the works. The Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, Jamie Miller, says now that we have a plan, action can follow.
Doug Walker is covering the story and will have more later today on WLOX News and on WLOX.com.