Florida Announces Early Opening of Summer Oyster Areas

TALLAHASSEE -- 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 open at 12:01 a.m. Friday -- 11 days early.

The summer oyster areas are normally open for harvest in June, July and August, and this is the first time that the two agencies, which jointly manage oyster resources in Florida, have opened the summer area early.

Requests for this early harvest were received from the Franklin County Board of County Commissioners, the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association and the Apalachicola Bay Oyster Dealers Association.

"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."

For more info contact:
David Heil
(850) 488-5471

Lee Schlesinger, FWC
(850) 487-0554
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