Ten percent of the nation’s oysters come from Florida’s Apalachicola Bay, but there’s trouble on the Forgotten Coast. Drought, record low river flow and a battle with Georgia over waterways that feed the bay are threatening the industry. Today the Senate Agriculture Committee began exploring ideas to save the oyster industry. They listened to experts, including UF Professor Karl Havens who has been working with oysterman to try and find a way to save their industry and the ecosystem.
“We’ve been looking at what happened with the bay to cause the collapse and what are the things we can do to help with the recovery. To a large extent we’ve been working with the oyster industry to help them figure out how can they fish the oyster community in a more resilient way,” said Havens.
Havens hopes to develop a system that keeps the oysterman employed and allows the bay to recover and says having the state’s support is key.