By: Elizabeth Nickerson
November 8, 2013
Wakulla County, FL--Local oystermen and seafood dealers are joining forces to urge the state to develop a plan for restoring the Apalachicola Bay.
Rodger Nichols has been in the Wakulla County oyster industry all his life. He says the Ochlockonee Bay, around Panacea, is dried out and there are no oysters left. He now depends on the Apalachicola Bay to make a living.
"We are in worst shape than Apalacicola because we can't fish no more, we can't shrimp no more," said Rodger Nichols, an Oystermen. "We don't have jobs here and everyday people are losing their houses and cars because they can't pay for them."
Oystermen around his community and Franklin County are urging the state to make a comprehensive plan to salvage Apalachicola Bay to help save the industry. The issues mentioned to the Senate Committee on Agriculture Monday were oyster harvesting, habitat, law enforcement and aquaculture.
"They are producing very few oysters here," said Ronald Crum, Owner of Crum's Mini-Mall in Panacea. "Most of the oysters were going to be selling are from Texas and Louisiana."
Seafood Business Owner, Ronald Crum, says the state needs to look at the bigger picture in order to find a solution.
"To create the bay you have to correct the problems of the people," said Crum.
Seafood Dealers and Oystermen say jobs are the answer.
Check on WCTV.TV for the latest update on how the state will address these issues.