Energy & Environment

State Bans Oyster Harvesting On Gulf Coast

But what about oysters that are already in restaurants or stores?


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The Texas Department of State Health Services says most areas will be closed to oyster harvesting from November 1st until further notice.

“Red Tide produces a toxin that’s consumed by the oysters and shellfish that make it toxic to people who eat it,” says Christine Mann, with the Texas Department of State Health Services. “In areas where there’s just excessive rainfall, storm runoff can cause the bacteria levels in the water to increase and you can get sick from consuming contaminated oysters that way.”

The ban doesn’t apply to other Texas seafood like shrimp or fish or crabs. But what about oysters that are already in restaurants or stores?

“Typically all of the oysters that are being sold in the current marketplace are safe,” Mann says. “What we’re concerned about is commercial and recreation harvesting in the bays that we closed. We don’t want people to eat any oysters from those areas.”

Certain areas of Galveston Bay will be open, but all other areas along the coast will be closed to commercial and recreational harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels. Here is the complete Shellfish Classification of Harvesting Areas Maps.


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