BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (AP) - Officials in Alabama say they plan
to relocate 6 million pounds of oysters from the upper half of Mobile Bay to create a new, 800-acre public reef farther south in an effort to revive the industry in the state.
Beginning March 15, oysters will be deposited on barges, then hauled south to the new reef site, a 3-mile stretch halfway between Fowl River and Alabama Point.
John Mareska, a biologist with Alabama's Division of Marine Resources, says the industry has been hurt by drought, periods of too much rain and a predatory snail known as the oyster drill.
The oyster drill thrives in the high-salinity waters in the upper bay.