A USA Today article covered the ever struggling Texas oyster industry, which has been decimated by one disaster after another, including Hurricane Ike in 2008, last year’s BP oil spill and the recent bloom of toxic algae.
A monster drought in the state has caused the algae to spread through the bays and islands along the Texas coast, prompting state health officials to close the entire coast for oyster harvesting before the season was set to open Nov. 1. So far the bloom has killed 4.5 million fish.
Prestige Oysters in San Leon, featured in Food Manufacturing‘s March 2011 issue, is feeling the effects of the algae. The plant usually sends 10 trailer trucks of oysters out a day, and now it’s down to four or five, with the majority of product coming from Louisiana.
Vice President Lisa Halili said in the USA Today article: “Between hurricanes, oil spills and now the red tide, the oysters have been beaten up pretty bad. There’s not going to be anything left alive out there.”