Oyster Harvest Woes

By: Charlene Cristobal
June 3, 2014

Summer is in full swing, and what better time to enjoy some fresh oysters? But wait, a new regulation could be limiting the amount that you get to enjoy.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has announced that Apalachicola Bay will have to decrease the amount of oysters they get to harvest. The daily limit will go from 20 bags to eight bags.

To put it into perspective, the FWC is limiting the amount from 1,200 lbs, which is approximately 480 dozen oysters to 480 lbs, which is approximately 192 dozen oysters.

"With people only having an eight bag limit means that they can clean them up better, they have more time," says Christopher Everritt, a worker at Water Street Oysters in Apalachicola. "I think it's a good thing for us."

Other workers at Water Street Oysters say that the limit will help them, not hurt them. Everritt says, "It would be more of a positive thing because, then the bar can reproduce. So, I think it would be better for us in the long run so that they can still grow and have time to grow."

Restaurants are experiencing both negative and positive effects of the harvest limits. Some positives are that they are getting more quality oysters and there is less wasted product for them at the end of the night. Some negatives are having to raise prices because there is less frequency or having to get their oysters from other sources.

"Hopefully this limit, and not having people go hog them up, will help it reproduce and get better for us," says Everritt.

These limits are in effect from June 1st to August 31st. The FWC has also prohibited harvesting on Fridays and Saturdays at Apalachicola Bay.

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