Martinez Urged to Help Oyster Industry Damaged by Dennis

Florida's oyster industry is appealing to U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez to get them help in recovering from Hurricane Dennis that hit the Panhandle last month.

Franklin County's Emergency Management Agency says oyster houses normally buy 300 to 400 large bags of oysters a day, but now are seeing as few as two or three bags.

The agency says boats were lost and many oystermen who live day-to-day can't get out to the mollusks still in the bay.

Oyster industry officials say about 50 percent of the oyster beds were damaged or destroyed in Apalachicola Bay, which provides the state with about 90 percent of Florida's oysters.

Officials say the July 10 hurricane left more than a thousand oyster industry people without work.