In Apalachicola Bay, the shrimp population is almost non-existent, crabs are hard to find, and the oysters are approaching similar levels. The BP Oil Spill and droughts in Georgia, shrinking the rivers supplying the Bay with vital nutrients, are dealing a considerable blow to fishermen in Franklin County. Florida Governor Rick Scott declared the Bay a disaster area Thursday and requested aid from the U.S Secretary of Commerce.
“The oyster industry is very important to Apalachicola Bay and estuary because they are filter feeders. The oysters actually filter and keep the bay clean and pristine so if you lose the oyster industry here in Apalachicola bay, you’re gonna lose it all.”Says Franklin County Commissioner and Fisherman Joseph Parrish
Parrish says the loss of oysters will hurt Florida’s economy. Apalachicola Bay supplies Florida with a large percentage of its oysters. And Parrish says the trickle-down effect into tourism and restaurants will be wide-spread throughout the state.