Friday, June 18, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Apalachicola Bay Oyster Production Increased

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 both the winter and summer oyster harvesting areas in the Apalachicola Bay System will be opened for harvest seven days per week through August 31, 2010.
Before this action was taken, the summer oyster areas were closed for harvest on Fridays in June, July and August, and the winter oyster areas were closed altogether for harvest during those months.  This action marks the first time that the two agencies, which jointly manage oyster resources in Florida, have permitted seven day per week harvest during the summer months and opened the winter oyster areas during the summer months.
"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."

David Heil, FDACS
(850) 488-5471
Terence McElroy, FDACS
(850) 488-3022
Lee Schlesinger, FWC
(850) 487-0554

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