Oyster Prices in a Snag for Oystermen

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

For the past three years, oyster wholesalers have paid oystermen the going rate of $15.00 for a bag of Apalachicola's finest. Recently, wholesalers cut prices to $13.50 a bag. And some dealers say they just don't have a choice.

James Braswell, a seafood wholesaler said, "If one drops and he keeps his price down, then he can come in and he can sell his product a lot cheaper than we could because we have more in it. So that makes like a chain reaction. Everybody has to drop the price in order to stay competitive."

Wednesday night, the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association met with the weary oystermen to discuss the price cuts. The FCSWA is urging fisherman to keep the quality of oysters high, so they can get the right prices.

Wholesalers say other factors for cutting are gas prices, the declining economy, and out of state seafood suppliers under bidding local dealers. Now with a $1.50 decrease, oystermen say times are tight.

Dominick Rotella said, "I say that dollar 50 a bag pretty much hurt us you know. It hurt me bad. I don't know for the people who are having to work for eleven dollars a bag, you know, it's gotta be killing them."

Oyster fishermen are hoping to stop further cuts because they are worried standard prices might hit 11 dollars a bag.


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