This year's hurricanes have had a devastating effect on the local seafood industry. The storms stirred up silt and helped spread red tide. The algae bloom killed millions of fish and forced health officials to close many areas to oyster and shellfish harvesting.
So when the state reopened part of Apalachicola Bay Thursday morning, it was a good day.
Florida Agriculture and Commissioner of Consumer Services Charles Bronson reopened a portion of the Apalachicola Bay at sunrise Thursday for harvesting.
Red tide shut down the oyster business for nearly three months. That meant a lean fall for hundreds of Franklin County families who make their living off seafood.
Tim Ward from Buddy Ward and Sons Seafood says he is happy that he is now able to buy oysters from local oystermen, but with only part of the western portion of Apalachicola Bay open to harvesting, how long will current supply of oysters last?
Part of the bay is better than no bay at all.
As always, health officials are warning people with liver problems, diabetes, cancer, stomach disorders, or weakened immune system to stay away from raw oysters.