It is becoming very apparent that the Chesapeake Bay is the only place to get a reliable supply of fresh gallon oysters and shell stock. There are very few oysters in Louisiana and virtually none in Texas. Texas had two hurricanes last summer that wiped out all the harvestable sized oysters in its waters. Louisiana hasn’t recovered from the BP oil spill from years ago. The resulting lack of salinity completely decimated the oyster population when they diverted the fresh Mississippi River water into the bayou (during the spill) to prevent the oil from coming onshore.
Major consumers of oyster products all over the Gulf are going to dealers in Maryland and Virginia, offering vast amounts of money for a part of their supply.
We currently sell a bushel box of medium local oysters for about $90 or approximately 45 cents per oyster. An 800 box a week customer from Texas is offering dealers around the Bay almost double that, or 75 cents an oyster in 100 count boxes. Combined with the northeast running low on shell oyster stock, it points towards an arduous and expensive summer for all oyster products.
Prices are subject to fluctuation.