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Apalachicola Oyster Fishery to close August 1

Oyster fishery will close August 1, 2020 to December 31, 2025
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to close the Apalachicola Oyster Fishery from August 1, 2020 until December 31, 2025. The result of the closure of the fishery is for it to replenish. This does not change much for one local business, but takes an effect on many who love Apalachicola oysters.

“There ain’t nothing better than an Apalachicola oyster, and that’s a fact,” said Tim Reeves, owner of Hunt’s Seafood and Oyster Bar.

For about sixty years Hunt’s got their oysters from the Apalachicola Oyster Fishery but had to go elsewhere due to the decline. Hunt’s has not had Apalachicola oysters in roughly four years. Now with the oyster fishery closing that adds another five years. Reeves hopes this closure replenishes the fishery so they can get oysters from there again.

Due to lack of freshwater, oysters cannot survive.

“Enough fresh to go along with the salt because if salt builds up too much in the oyster it can’t live, and that’s what happens and they don’t reproduce, and then you have a problem, and we’ve got it now,“ Reeves said.

Consumer James Cleingman said he has not had an Apalachicola oyster in almost 15 years.

“They weren’t always the biggest, but they always had the best taste and I always asked for them any place that I went but I haven’t seen one like it in 15 years or more,” Cleingman said. “And if they come back well, I’ll be happy because I will order some.”

With the fishery’s closure Cleingman hopes it can replenish and the oysters can be back on menu’s.

“We want the best to come back,” Cleingman said.

Reeves said with the closure of the fishery oyster prices should not go up any higher because they already doubled after the BP oil spill years ago.

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