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First Biloxi Bay oyster harvest of 21st century set to open

For the first time in at least 40 years, Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting Nov. 1.
For the first time in at least 40 years, Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting Nov. 1. TNS File

For the first time in at least 40 years, Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting.

In a news release, officials with the state Department of Marine Resources said reefs in the Biloxi Bay portion of the Mississippi Sound will open at sunrise Nov. 1.

“The harvest of oysters for the first time in 40-plus years in Biloxi Bay is nothing less than historic,” DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said. “We hope everyone will celebrate by enjoying some Mississippi oysters.”

The opening of the oyster reefs confirms water quality has improved in the Bay, Miller said.

The state Commission on Marine Resources approved the location and opening at a meeting in October.

Harvesting is limited to oyster tonging. No dredging will be allowed. The limit is 15 sacks per day, the DMR said.

Artificial reefs will not be open for oyster harvesting and the DMR has marked them for easy identification. There will be a station in the Ocean Springs Harbor for fishermen to check in and out each day.

Reefs that opened Oct. 3 in the western part of the Sound near Pass Christian closed Oct. 28 when fishermen reached the quota of 27,944 sacks.

Justin Vicory: 228-896-2326, @justinvicory

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