State announces early opening of summer oyster areas
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services
Commissioner Charles H. Bronson and Chairman Rodney Barreto of the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced
Thursday that the summer oyster-harvesting areas in the
Apalachicola Bay System will open at 12:01 a.m. Friday - 11 days
The summer oyster areas in Apalachicola Bay
normally are open for harvest in June, July and August, and this is
the first time the two agencies, which jointly manage oyster
resources in Florida, have opened the summer area early.
Requests for this early harvest were received from
the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners, the Franklin
County Seafood Workers Association and the Apalachicola Bay Oyster
"We are pleased to support Commissioner Bronson in
this effort to help the hard-working people in Florida's oyster
industry," Barreto said.
Staff of both agencies will continue to closely
monitor Apalachicola Bay water quality, oyster harvest, oyster
handling and oyster processing to ensure oyster resources are
protected and are safe to consume.
"This action should be viewed by the people of
Florida and the United States that Gulf of Mexico seafood in
restaurants and markets is safe," Bronson said. "With demand
for safe Gulf oysters at a peak, this action will benefit both our
oyster industry and consumers alike."
The FWC order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on May 21
and will expire at 12:01 a.m. on June 1. All other rule
provisions governing the harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay
will remain in effect for the duration of the order.
Commercial oyster rules and other saltwater fishing
regulations are available online at MyFWC.com/Rules, click on
"Fishing - Saltwater."