15-47-MMS| June 23, 2015
BILOXI, Miss. – Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday received the final report of the Governor’s Oyster Council on Restoration and Resiliency, saying the plan outlined will help make the Coast the “Seafood Capitol of the World” once again.
“This was not an easy task,” Bryant told the packed room at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art. “But we can do this because we now have a plan of action. It’s not just a report, not just something that tells us where we’re at and the details of what’s going on today, but something that tells us where we’re going in the future.”
Bryant said oyster production and harvesting will be an important part of Mississippi’s economy.
“It is becoming one of the favorite food sources around the United States, and they need to buy it here,” he said. “This is the soybean of the sea. We’re going to make sure everyone enjoys it.”
Jamie Miller, executive director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, and Dave Dennis, chairman of the Oyster Council, presented the report to Bryant in front of a room filled with members of the Council and the community.
“We’re here today to hand over the hard work and the results of a lot of people in this room,” Miller said. “This report has practical recommendations, but also new ideas that we learned from other areas of the Gulf and other regions of the country.”
Miller said future plans include relaying oysters to more favorable reefs, as well as using aquaculture to grow the industry.
“If we’re going to reach our goal of harvesting 1 million sacks a year in 10 years, public reefs can only do so much. We need to incentivize the private sector. That’s really the way we’re going to get there,” he said. “Another big piece of this is aquaculture. You have to help Mother Nature along sometimes. We need to be aggressive. Mississippi has been, in my opinion, on the defensive. We’re getting ready to go on offense.”
Dennis said the report was the result of much hard work by the entire committee.
“This is a very detailed evaluation of the industry and the possibilities of where it should go,” he said. “What we tried to do was come up with ways to structure a better business plan through technology and through environmental concerns.”
Photo courtesy Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Gov. Phil Bryant, center, received the final report Tuesday, June 23, of the Governor’s Oyster Council on Restoration and Resiliency. MDMR Executive Director Jamie Miller, left, and Dave Dennis, right, presented the report at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.