New Fish Market Opens in Bonifay

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Mel miller has been fishing since he was a little boy.
His love for the sport turned into a career.
Now 38 years later he owns two fish markets.

"well I’ve been wanting to do it for years, you know I’ve been up here for quite a long time I just decided to come on up and offer the community some local domestic sea food." Bonifay Seafood Market owner Mel Miller said.

But it wasn’t easy getting to this point
After the deepwater horizon oil spill in the summer of 2010, Miller's fish business foundered.
But he says it was BP who helped keep his business going.

“The BP oil spill was directly related to us, the boats quit running. And a program came up the vessel of opportunity, so we were in that program which helped us through it and we were able to stay.” Miller said.

This program helped employ those who made a living from fishing at the time the spill happened.
Fast forward two years and now miller is back on his feet with another brand new fish market.

“Business has been good the community is really supporting us, a lot of people are coming up from Alabama.” Miller said.

And he says he couldn’t have done it without the help of his loyal customers.

“I like the quality of the seafood and I know it is going to be fresh and it’s a nice place to shop.” Customer Mike Smith said.

And miller has one piece of advice for other fisherman.

“Just keep hanging on.” Miller said.

And he says he hopes other fishermen will continue to fight for the business he loves.

Miller told me that many fishermen were fed up with BP.
However, he says the company took responsibility.

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