"Florida Closes Iconic Apalachicola Oyster Fishery"

"The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has unanimously voted to shut down the state's iconic Apalachicola oyster fishery after years of drought and other pressures have devastated wild oyster beds.

For decades, if you ordered oysters on the half-shell on the eastern Gulf coast, they most likely came from Apalachicola Bay – an estuary in north Florida where freshwater rivers meet the Gulf of Mexico, creating the perfect brackish mix for growing plump, salty oysters. But in recent years, they're hard to come by.

"Right now, there's no boats out there," says local fisherman Shannon Hartsfield. "There's nobody harvesting any oysters right now."

Hartsfield, 51, is a fourth generation seafood worker in Franklin County. The oyster fishery here dates to the mid-1800s."

Debbie Elliott reports for NPR July 22, 2020.

Source: NPR, 07/29/2020