The Aristocrat, Caminada Bay, Beauregard and Champagne Bay oysters are changing the playing field for a Gulf oyster industry in decline since Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon spill. These off-bottom caged Louisiana oysters join others in Alabama as the first commercial success stories for farm raised oysters grown in off-bottom cages, breathing new life into the industry.
A few years ago Jim Gossen, Chairman of Sysco Louisiana Seafood, gave a talk to a group of Gulf oystermen. Showing them a box filled with east and west coast oysters, he told them, “these oysters are three times better than yours, and they must be because they are getting more than three times the price.”
“They sure didn’t like what I was saying,” emphasized Gossen, a Gulf Seafood Institute Board Member from Texas. “I told them that it was time to start searching for a solution on how Gulf oysters could compete with smaller, prettier oysters from the coasts.”
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