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Five Years Later One Local Industry Still Feels Effects of Deep - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Five Years Later One Local Industry Still Feels Effects of Deep Water Horizon Spill

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Oysters hurt during oil spill Oysters hurt during oil spill
 It has been five years since the tragic events of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, an event that affected almost every corner of the Gulf Coast in some form or another. 

Five years later and some of those effects are still being felt in Acadiana in particular the oyster industry, one of the hardest hit industries during the oil spill. 

A steady stream of oysters, however, now make their way through the Pearl Reef Processing Plant in Abbeville. 

Where they are shucked, cleaned and packaged, a process that wouldn't of been possible in the aftermath of the spill. 

John Parker the owner of the plant says that for the first time in decades he had to shut down his entire operation. 

Oyster harvesting was closed and he was left without a product to sell as he couldn't get oysters from any neighboring states, and the Gulf Coast oyster industry came to a halt. 

Once the beds were closed to harvest it wasn't long before oyster businesses across the coast were forced to shut there doors, and the road to recovery was slow. 

"It was a really hard time," Parker said looking back on the time he had to shut his doors. 

Although the doors are open production is still slow and harvests are still small, reminders of the spill five years ago. 

It's not just the distributors or processing plants that are feeling the effects either, those effects can be felt at the dinner table by the consumer. 

Bert Istre, co-owner of Shucks in Abbeville, has seen a steady increase in oyster prices since the spill as harvests continue to struggle and and the demand for Louisiana seafood steadily growing. 

So although production still isn't what it was, and prices are still high there is a general sense of optimism about the industry. 

Andy oysters are once again streaming from Pearl Reef Processing Plant to the dinner table. 

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