Red Tide may not affect oyster supplies

Red Tide may not affect oyster supplies

METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - The closure of multiple oyster beds in Louisiana waters may not affect the supply of oysters ahead of the holiday rush.

The Department of Health and Hospitals closed Oyster Beds 01 through 07 earlier this month as a precautionary measure because it detected the presence of karenia brevis, known more commonly as Red Tide.

The fact that the oyster beds were closed before any tainted seafood hit the market is a success for some restaurant owners.

"The system works, they went out there, they tested the water, they saw that it wasn't right for growing oysters, they said stop production until we're sure these waters are safe," Tommy Cvitanovich, owner of Drago's Seafood Restaurant, said.

So far, several suppliers haven't seen a serious dip in production. The closure does not affect oyster beds from the mouth of the Mississippi River to the Texas state line.

"We got 'em and they're good and salty," Deny Lacoste, owner of Dennis' Seafood, said. "My dealers, they're good suppliers, I usually don't have a problem with them, because they have a lot of people to fish for them and all that."

Cvitanovich explains, the closure because of Red Tide is rare, but if it doesn't last long, it won't affect the industry too much.

"We haven't had any issues getting oysters. We've gotten all we want, we haven't even seen a price increase and if this thing is short lived, if they reopen it in a week or two, you probably won't even notice it at all," Cvitanovich said.

Cvitanovich said if the closure lingers it could begin to affect oyster production negatively.

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