Hurricanes, droughts, flooding and oil spills, the Louisiana Oyster Task Force had thought they had seen it all. The novel coronavirus that is sweeping through the state, the nation and the world is just one more obstacle to overcome and according to Task Force chairman Mitch Jurisich there is little doubt they will.
“For those suffering from the virus, we wish a speedy recovery,” said Jurisich, an oysterman from Empire. “For those who have lost loved ones, we offer our deepest sympathy. For those facing financially uncertainty, we understanding your pain because we are all in this together. Oystermen are the eternal optimists. We all have been through rough times, but when we put aside our differences and come together as community good things can happen.”
The quick spreading virus has brought the oyster and seafood industry to almost a complete stop. Restaurant closing has upended the supply chain for oysters, as well as all seafood. With cancelled orders from wholesalers and processors, oystermen and other fishermen are selling their catch at local farmer markets or through online orders. These sales are amounting to a fraction needed to maintain a thriving industry.
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