Taskforce Trying to Save the Seafood Industry

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For years oystermen in Apalachicola have offloaded their product at boat ramps and landings, but now some fear the private ramps will be sold to developers, leaving them no where to do their work.

Oystermen and oyster processors fear private boat ramp owners will turn them into marinas, restaurants or tackle shops for tourists, and they say if that happens the seafood industry would dissolve.

"You'll still be able to launch a boat somewhere at a public boat ramp and go to work, but you don't have any public water access to offload your products in order to move them to a certified processing house, therefore essentially cutting off the water access as you could eliminate the whole industry," said Joseph "Smokey" Parrish, who manages an oyster processing plant.

A task force to save the seafood industry is meeting Tuesday night.

Commercial fishermen are pushing to make the private ramps public.