Posted: Jun 21, 2012 8:05 PM by Steven Albritton
Updated: Jun 21, 2012 8:09 PM
Coastal flooding is causing serious issues for alligator farmers. Right now one group stands to lose about 25,000 eggs this year. Vermilion Gator Farm, Inc. usually collects between 75,000 and 100,000 eggs but once the eggs are submerged in water for six or more hours the embryo dies.
"The embryo actually breathes through the eggshell, so our problem right now is rising water," Vermilion Gator Farm Founder Wayne Sagrera said.
In 2008 they collected 100,000 eggs, but the following year they collected zero. The economic collapse and a hurricane put them in a situation where they couldn't work at all. They are headed down that path again if the flooding keeps happening.
"We've had these good years and bad years before but the problem is we've had enough bad ones now, it's time you have to start rethinking it and maybe head in another direction but I'm very optimistic," Sagrera said.
Sagrera went on to say that if the year gets bad enough he may have to consider closing the farm.
"This year we are going to stick through one more time, but if we have another bad year we'll probably have to close. For the last 4 years its taken a lot of savings to keep this going and we've been trying to be loyal to our long time employees," Sagrera said.
Tropical Storm Chris is currently in the gulf and could threaten eggs even more. If the wind picks up, it will push the tide higher and push more salt into fresh water. Alligators will not lay eggs in salt water or when it's too dry.