From: Associated Press
Published November 14, 2005 12:00 AM

Oyster Harvesting Returns to Southeast Louisiana

HOPEDALE, La. — Oystermen have returned to the bays of southeast Louisiana.

The hurricane-decimated industry celebrated a victory Friday when two boats arrived at the Old Hopedale Seafood Plant and unloaded hundreds of sacks of oysters.

"There's nothing wrong with the oysters," said Tony Tesvich, who lives on his boat because his home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. "The waters are pristine, clear."

Harvesting had been off-limits because of contamination fears in the wake of the storm.

But state health officials reopened waters east of the Mississippi River on Oct. 22 to oyster harvesting on private grounds. Public grounds remain closed in those areas.

Oystermen have been stymied by many problems. Docks, ice houses and dealers were smashed by the storm. The Old Hopedale Plant was no different, and a cement dock is all that remains. A generator-run conveyor belt was used to unload Tesvich's oysters.

Tesvich and fellow oysterman Mike Vuoso coordinated with AmeriPure, a Franklin-based oyster dealer, to get their oysters to market.

"I'm happy to have another source (for oysters) other than Texas," said Pat Fahey, an AmeriPure managing partner.

Source: Associated Press

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