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Legal Storms Ahead for Louisiana Oyster Farmers

LOUISIANA, US - Its hard to make the world your oyster if youre harvesting the mollusks in storm-prone Louisiana, Al Sunseri, a spokesman for the industry, says.

Louisiana harvesters land 2.5 million sacks of oysters each year — more than 40 per cent of the annual total consumed in the United States, according to one industry estimate, writes Allen M. Johnson Jr.

However, oyster harvesters are reeling from four hurricanes in three years, labor shortages, and intensive government regulation, said Sunseri, chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, a statewide advocacy organization.

Reporting for the Advocate, Mr Johnson says that although tens of millions of dollars in federal recovery aid have been dedicated for hurricane-hammered fisheries across south Louisiana, the need for help remains dire among the state’s 775 oyster farmers.

“The money hasn’t trickled down for many,” Sunseri said Wednesday. The farmers need the aid so they can pay off loans for ice machines, refrigerators, compressors, forklifts and other essential equipment.

the Fish Site Editor

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