The Texas Oyster Industry Is Now a Shell of Itself

It’s the first day of Texas oyster season, and Galveston Bay is packed with so many boats that 33-year-old Captain Joaquin Padilla decides to post a video of them on Facebook, adding a side-eye emoji as comment. Padilla has been on the water with his little crew since sunup, steering his boat, the Miss Kosovare, in languid circles, dragging his dredge—a chain and metal basket about the size of a basking shark’s mouth—over the oyster reefs below. His is one of about 150 trawlers out this November day, harvesting bivalves from the limited wild reefs on the bottom of Galveston Bay, right in Houston’s backyard. Out on the water, Padilla sticks with a smaller group of about ten boats that all belong to his buddies and family—his father, uncle, brother-in-law, and cousins all make a living oystering, too. >click to read<20:31

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