Oysters in Lake Borgne and the Mississippi Sound (known as harvest areas 1 and 2) can now be transplanted to other waters. The State of Louisiana is taking this emergency action to protect oyster reefs from freshwater intrusion following the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
Dr. Jimmy Guidry, state health officer with the Louisiana Department of Health, signed the emergency order that was also approved by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
The State Sanitary Code requires a 14-day notice and applicable fees for the transplanting of oysters. The notice waives the 14-day requirement, but the $100 permit fee and $5,000 cash bond still applies. Transplant of oysters can also begin during timeframes set by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The transplanted oysters must remain in approved waters for a minimum of 15 days; no part of any lease on which shellfish have been transplanted may be used for direct market harvesting during this period.
Oyster fishermen who receive permits will be allowed to transplant oysters taken from the public oyster seed grounds in the above-named harvest areas and relayed into any other open area.
Applications for transplant permits can be obtained between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, Louisiana Department of Health, Commercial Seafood Program, 628 N. 4th Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70801. Phone: 225-342-7653.
About the Louisiana Department of Health
The Louisiana Department of Health strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state residents. The Louisiana Department of Health includes the Office of Public Health, Office of Aging & Adult Services, Office of Behavioral Health, Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities, and Healthy Louisiana (Medicaid). To learn visit www.ldh.la.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or our blog.