NEW ORLEANS (AP)– The pre-dawn shucking of small mountains of oysters that is an age-old workaday ritual in New Orleans is coming to an end at the 134-year-old P&J Oyster Co., because of the oil spilling ominously offshore.
Barring an unforeseen reopening of the oyster beds that supply P&J, Thursday was to be the final day of shucking at the family owned business in the city’s French Quarter.
“I’m going to try and buy a few shucked oysters from some people in Alabama that are still processing oysters and once they stop, I’m done,” said Al Sunseri, who along with his brother Sal has run the business that opened in 1876.
Sunseri isn’t sure what will happen to P&J and its employees in the long haul. Other Louisiana oyster companies say their oyster supplies are also dwindling, prices are rising and the future of their business remains stark and uncertain.