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Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, La. The dredge hauls a load of oysters out of Bay Adams in Plaquemines Parish.

Or for third-generation oysterman Mitch Jurisich, just another day at the office.

'Our family heritage, pride is on raising the finest quality oysters,' Jurisich explains. 'That's what we look at. But three years ago, how worried were you? Oh I thought we were done.'

The 2010 BP oil spill was devastating to oysters in Southeast Louisiana and the recovery is still ongoing.

'How much has it recovered now?' asked Sal Sunseri ofP&J Oysters, who believes nearly 80 percent of the oysters were lost right after the oil spill. 'I would venture to say that production in Louisiana is probably about 50-to-60 percent of what it normally is.'

Experts said oysters some areas are still struggling, but in others, oystermen like the Jurisich are helping Mother Nature by dumping tons of crushed cement overboard to create new beds for juvenile oysters.

'These rocks were dropped last spring and just on this one rock right here,' said Jurisich, 'I'd venture to say there's 20 oysters or better. When will they be big enough to harvest? Two years.'

They create new beds in one area and harvest in another.

'We were averaging about 150 sacks of oysters before the spill a day on this boat harvest-wise, and now we're up to 250 sacks a day,' Jurisich said.

This weekend they expect to serve up to 200,000 oysters at the 4th annual Oyster Festival at Woldenberg Park, a celebration of everything oyster.

'We have some great jewelry, we have some artwork, we have some oyster shell. How many restaurants? We have 23 restaurants,' Oyster Fest founder Sunseri said.

When you enjoy that succulent dish, remember the work it took to put those oysters on your plate.

'It's a dirty job for sure and it's not for everybody,' said fourth-generation oysterman Nathan Jurisich. 'I love it. It's in my blood.'

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