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: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.