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Oyster harvesters hit hard as Texas closes reefs for conservation and public health

Oyster harvesters on the Texas coast are facing twin threats to their way of life: The state shut down reefs to prevent overfishing and following recent reports of illness after people ate Texas oysters.

Alex Gutierrez, an oyster fisherman, poses for a portrait while conducting routine maintenance on his boat after the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall for oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in San Leon, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
An employee of Misho's Oyster Company uses a backhoe loader to move oyster shells after the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall for oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in San Leon, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
A discarded glove sits amongst oyster shells at Misho's Oyster Company after the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall for oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in San Leon, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
Sacks used to hold oysters are dried after being taken off of boats at US Sea Products, a wholesale oyster company, following the Texas Department of State Health Services’ recall on oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in Texas City, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
Johny Jurisich, an oyster fisherman whose family owns US Sea Products, a wholesale oyster company, poses for a portrait on an oyster boat after the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall for oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in Texas City, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
An employee at US Sea Products sweeps the area where oysters are usually brought after being harvested after the Texas Department of State Health Services ordered a recall for oysters harvested in the area of southeastern Galveston Bay in Texas City, Texas, U.S., on Thursday, December 15, 2022.

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