APALACHICOLA — It wasn’t long ago when Apalachicola Bay oyster boats could fill the daily catch limit of 20 10-gallon buckets easily.
Today, they struggle to fill two.
“It’s bad. ... It’s really bad out there,” said Shannon Hartsfield, president of the Franklin County Seafood Workers Association. “We should be on the upper end getting better.”
At a selling point of $44 per bag, minus the cost of fuel, two bags of oysters per day is not enough, Hartsfield said. In 2012, the industry saw its lowest harvest in more than two decades.
Now the small fishing community is hopeful a $6.3 million federal grant may help restore what was lost.
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National Fisherman Live: 12/16/14
In this episode, Bruce Buls, WorkBoat's technical editor, interviews Long Island lobsterman John Aldridge, who survived for 12 hours after falling overboard in the dead of night. Aldridge was the keynote speaker at the 2014 Pacific Marine Expo, which took place Nov. 19-21 in Seattle.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.