Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson and Chairman Rodney Barreto of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) today announced that the summer oyster harvesting areas in the Apalachicola Bay System will now include harvest on Saturdays, giving fishermen six days of harvesting per week.
The summer oyster areas are normally closed for harvest on Fridays and Saturdays in June, July and August, and this is the first time that the two agencies, which jointly manage oyster resources in Florida, have implemented this change. The decision to open Apalachicola Bay to oyster harvesting on Saturdays comes a day after Commissioner Bronson sent a letter to the FWC seeking the change and in response to requests by representatives of the oyster industry for an increase in harvesting days.
“We are pleased to support Commissioner Bronson in this effort to help the hard-working people in Florida’s oyster industry,” Barreto said.
Staff of both Agencies will continue to closely monitor Bay water quality, oyster harvest, oyster handling and oyster processing to ensure oysters resources are protected and are safe to consume.
“This action should be viewed by the citizens of Florida and the United States that Gulf of Mexico seafood in restaurants and markets is safe,” Bronson said. “With demand for safe Gulf oysters at a peak, this action will benefit both our oyster industry and consumers alike.”