A Nearly 2 Decade Long Oyster Lease Moratorium is Starting to be Phased Out
Following the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s changes to their Oyster Lease Acquisition and Compensation Program at the January 20 board meeting, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that it will be lifting its moratorium on new oyster leases.
Like the OLACP changes, the end of the oyster lease moratorium is in reaction to some major, upcoming coastal restoration projects in the south eastern Louisiana region by CPRA. These projects—like the approximately $1.4 billion Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion in Plaquemines Parish near Ironton—could affect some currently held oyster leases in the parish, possibly causing them to become unproductive.
By allowing oyster fishermen to obtain new leases in unaffected areas for the first time in nearly 2 decades, the state is hoping to rejuvenate an oyster industry that has fallen on hard times due to recent mass deaths in oysters and may see more issues resulting from coastal restoration projects.
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