Weekend Oyster Harvesting Put On Hold In Apalachicola Bay
Starting next week, it will be off-limits to commercially harvest oysters on the weekend in Apalachicola Bay. State officials made the decision after finding the oyster population cannot sustain the minimum harvest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is hoping the closure will give the oysters time to recover their lost numbers.
The closure begins November 17th. In the 1980’s, commercial weekend harvesting of Apalachicola bay oysters closed after a series of hurricanes. But this time, instead of hurricanes, the water’s too salty, nutrients are low, and predators are on the rise.
“When it comes down to it, the end game is that there’s less oysters out there and they need a little bit more time and we hope that this automatic closure that’s going into effect will be able to give them a little bit more time.” Says Commission Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley.
In December, the Fish and Wildlife Commission will have another meeting to decide if the closure will continue or if further steps will be necessary. For now, the closure is scheduled to continue until May 31s t.