16-64-MMS| September 20, 2016
BILOXI, Miss. – The state Commission on Marine Resources voted unanimously Tuesday to open oyster season beginning at legal sunrise Monday, Oct. 3.
The reefs in the western portion of the Mississippi Sound will be open to tonging and dredging. The daily sack limit is 25 for dredgers and 15 for tongers.
MDMR scientists estimate nearly 80,000 sacks of oysters survived a series of mortality events in August in the western Sound. Commissioners voted to establish a harvest quota not to exceed 35 percent, nearly 28,000, for this year’s oyster season.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to place a moratorium on license sales for oyster harvesting, which became effective with the vote. The moratorium applies to recreational and commercial licenses.
License sales are limited to those fishermen who purchased a commercial or recreational oyster license from March of 2015 through April of 2016. Also, if the commercial vessel were damaged or lost, the license can be transferred to the new vessel.
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 dmr.ms.gov