Release Date: 04/29/2008

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited three men for alleged violations of the state sanitary code specific to oysters. 

On the morning of April 16, agents assigned to the Oyster Strike Force responded to complaints in Oyster Growing Area 3 of oystermen holding oysters overnight on vessels without proper refrigeration.

In Karako Bay, agents located two vessels, "Master Trey" and "Mule."  The captains were identified as David Will, 32, and Bobby Kieff, 33, both from St. Bernard.  Agents revealed the oysters were harvested the previous day and were designated for shucking by a certified dealer.

State Sanitary Code requires that oysters harvested for shucking by a certified dealer shall be placed under mechanical refrigeration at an air temperature not to exceed 45 degrees no later than midnight each day.  A total of 157 sacks of oysters were seized and returned to the water. 

A third vessel, "Lexi Ryan", was located in an area known as Drum Bay.  The captain was identified as Preston Kieff, 35, also from St. Bernard.  Investigation revealed 14 sacks of oysters on the vessel were designated for raw consumption and harvested the previous day. 

State Sanitation Code requires in the month of April that oysters harvested for raw consumption are required to be refrigerated within 14 hours from the time harvest begins.  The 14 sacks of oysters were seized and returned to the water. 

In addition to the refrigeration violations, all three subjects were cited for not having the required information documented on their harvester log sheets.     

The penalty for violating the sanitary code is a fine of $25 and loss of the oysters.

Agents participating in the case were Sgt. Bryan Marie, Senior Agent Mike Garrity and Agent Doug Dana.

For more information, contact Capt. Stephen McManus at 504-280-1574 or