You might think the hurricane season handed a hard season to oyster harvesters. Spend some time in Apalachicola and you'll discover seafood is king.
Fans from Franklin County to Canada flood into the area by the thousands just for a taste of fresh oysters, so when hurricanes sweep into the Gulf of Mexico these folks keep a close eye on its affect on the industry, and while some of the businesses find they have to shut their doors for a little while, others find the extra rain helps a lot.
Jim McNeil, owner of Indian Pass Raw Bar, said, “We had to close up shop for a little while because of the flooding, but we got back on our feet. We didn't have it as rough as folks west of us."
Tommy Ward of Buddy Ward & Son Seafood added, “We actually needed the extra rain because the oysters need fresh water for harvesting, so it helped us a little."
Take a look at the oyster eating competition at the Florida Seafood Festival and you'll see the appetite for seafood remains strong, and when you think that 90 percent of Florida's oysters come from the Apalachicola Bay, you understand why this little guy is a pearl.
The festival drew a crowd of around 40,000 is weekend. This is the 41st Annual Florida Seafood Festival. It ends Sunday.