Oysters may be very difficult to come by this year, at least from the lower East coast. Just two days into the season, massive flooding and storms struck the Carolinas. It was so intense that weather forecasters called it a thousand year storm. The runoff from this storm caused officials to shut down oyster harvesting until bacteria levels drop to safer levels.
The inability to harvest oysters could cut total production by 20% or more. This will lead to price hikes and could put some oyster farmers and fishermen out of business. For now, the fishermen of the region are doing what they can by catching other seafood such as rock crabs or biding their time until the ban is lifted.
Fortunately for the rest of the East coast, the oyster farms further up the coastline remained unaffected. Oysters from New York, Massachusetts, and Maine will still be available, but Carolina oysters are off the table for the time being.