gulf of mexico fisheries

Travis Lux / WWNO

One of the ways the state plans to rebuild land on the Louisiana coast is by sediment diversions -- diverting the silt, sand, and dirty waters of the Mississippi River into the marsh.

For years, many in the commercial fishing industry have claimed that the influx of freshwater funneled through diversions would ruin their industry. Now, some fishers feel they have proof: the damaging impacts of the 2019 Mississippi River Flood.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The flooding Mississippi River is taking a major toll on Louisiana’s commercial fisheries.

Many of the state’s fisheries, like shrimp and oysters, need a mix of salty and fresh water to grow properly. But because of the months-long flooding on the Mississippi River and the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway -- through which water has been flowing for more than 70 days this year -- many of those areas are now too fresh.

Morley et al., 2018 / Pew Charitable Trusts

A report out this month says that the world’s oceans are warming much faster than expected. That’s already causing some fish species to move north, and could bring more changes to the ocean in the future.

To better understand how this will impact Gulf of Mexico fisheries like shrimp, snapper, and oysters, WWNO’s Travis Lux spoke with Dr. Rebecca Selden, a Marine Ecologist at Rutgers University.