Friday, September 5, 2014

Apalachicola Bay current oyster crisis meeting to be held


The University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team has scheduled a public meeting in Franklin County in response to the most recent crisis of the Oyster Industry in Apalachicola Bay. The meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, 2014 from 1:00-4:00 PM at the Battery Park Community Center at 1 Bay Avenue in Apalachicola.

The intent of the meeting is to address rumors and share information from knowledgeable sources at the University of Florida and other agencies regarding four issues that are of the utmost concern to the Oyster Industry and community at large due to the current crisis facing Apalachicola Bay and the local Oyster Industry.

  1. What is the current status of the oyster population, based on the most recent data and observations of scientists and oystermen?
  2. What is the status of the Bay Management Plan that is being developed by the state?
  3. What are the plans (breakdown of dollars, agencies that have funds, plans for use of funds, and timelines) for spending the monies from the Fishery Disaster declaration, NRDA, NFWF and other sources that have been provided to the state to support rehabilitation of the oyster fishery and the community?
  4. What options will be available for oystermen, if they are out of work in the near future due to lack of oysters to harvest?

The desired outcome of the meeting is to have a better informed community, with information that is based upon facts.

The Oyster Recovery Team is a component of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) and the Florida Sea Grant College Program, which have been tasked with the responsibility of serving the public and industries in the counties in which they're located by providing those communities with education and the best available science-based knowledge. 

For more information about the meeting or the current Oyster Industry crisis, please telephone Karl Havens, Director of both the Florida Sea Grant Program and the Oyster Recovery Team at (352) 392-5870 or send email to khavens@ufl.edu.