Oyster harvesting returns to Biloxi Bay

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Oyster harvesting occurred for the first time in 54 years in Biloxi Bay on Tuesday  after water quality reached a standard that was acceptable to inspectors, the Sun Herald reported.

Forty-five boats, 31 from Mississippi, were registered for oystering, the newspaper reported.

Department of Marine Resources Director Jamie Miller told the Sun Herald that water standards to allow raw seafood to be consumed were finally reached this month. Officials have been tracking the quality since 2014 in hopes of renewing oystering in the bay.

While the oystermen have a 15-sack daily limit, there is no total sack harvest cap on the reefs because only tonging is allowed, Commission on Marine Resources board member Richard Gollott told the newspaper. Gollott said using tongs helps the reefs develop more places for oysters to attach.