Drought Devastating Texas’s Oyster Industry

Oyster Farmer

Between the oil spill and floods, the Gulf Coast marine life has a taken quite a hit.  Mainly what fisherman are worried about is the fact that the oysters are just dying out at such a dramatic rate.  The oyster make up a $217 million industry, Louisiana and Texas account for 70% alone.  The reason for the oysters dying off is because how high the salinity of the water is, predication and disease thrive in such conditions killing off the oyster that fisherman need to harvest.  Experts say that there hasn’t been such a high salinity since the 1980’s, normally there is an average of fourteen inches of rainfall annually but only 6 inches has fallen.  Many of the fisherman and fishing industry hasn’t recovered from hurricane Ike, making this drought another setback.  Shrimp and Blue crab may also be affected by the drought, shrimp alone makes up a whole $236 million for Texas’ commercial fishing business.  A professor at Texas A&M University reports that if there isn’t a break in the drought there will only be dead shellfish to harvest in.