Why Your Next Tasty Gulf Coast Oyster Could Come From a Cage

erry Shelley’s world has changed. Over his five decades in the Louisiana seafood business, he hastoo. He used to shrimp and crab, spending weeks on the water in a 72-foot double-rigger named The Second Chance.

Then another boat hit its bow, and he moved into the oyster business. Near the state’s far northern edge, Shelley first pulled oysters from the shores that on a map dissolve like lace into the Gulf of Mexico’s waters.

Eventually he secured nearly 70,000 acres of oyster leases, and he realized it was better business to send other people out in a half dozen boats to work his reefs. In recent years, however, those leases have produced fewer oysters.

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