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Jul 3, 2014 6:53 PM by Ashlea Bullington

Oyster Shortage in Louisiana

A Louisiana favorite might not be coming from Louisiana. Oyster harvesting is at an all time low, and some dealers are having to go from outside of Louisiana to fill orders. For the first time in its 100-year-plus history, one of New Orleans' biggest oyster dealers has resorted to importing oysters

Al Sunseri, co-owner of P&J Oyster Co. in the French Quarter, said his company has shucked and sold fresh Louisiana oysters for more than 130 years. In his 35 years with the company, he said he's never seen anything like today's market.

With the oyster shortage we talked to popular Acadiana oyster restaurant owners to see how it has been affecting the area.

David Bertrand, Co-owner of Shuck's Restaurant in Abbeville told KATC that Louisiana oysters are always in stock for oysters because they have a good relationship with their provider. But Bertrand says it is in the back of their minds that there is a shortage in crops. Going outside of Louisiana for oysters is out of the question for Bertrand's restaurant because he says Louisiana oysters are the best.

Jody Hebert, Owner of Dupuy's Restaurant in Abbeville, said "The shortage does not really affect me all that much. I choose not to sell oysters on the half shell during the warm months because of the bacteria in the warmer water. I do have them but I choose to sever them cooked and don't have to buy as many."

Since it is not considered oyster season right now, many restaurants do not sell them raw. But for the restaurants that do, Louisiana oysters are the first choice. For the demand of oysters in New Orleans, consumers might be disappointed since some companies are having to pull from Texas, Mississippi, and even over seas.

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