A little info about Florida Shrimp, Oysters and Scallops. Oysters Oysters farmed in Florida’s Apalachicola Bay are considered some of the most delicious and tasteful in the entire country. In the Apalachicola Bay, harvesters use tongs from small boats to capture oysters. This relatively small region still produces about 90 percent of all oysters eaten in the state of Florida. The Apalachicola Bay feeds into the Apalachicola River, which in turn meets with the Flint and Chattahoochee Rivers. These rivers run through Florida and Northern Georgia and deliver rich nutrients to the Apalachicola Bay. Most Apalachicola Bay oysters in this nutrient rich environment grow to be three inches long. Florida Shrimp Florida shrimp fishing is regulated by the state. In order to fish for shrimp, you’ll need a Florida saltwater license. There is no size limit for individual shrimp, but there is a bag limit—harvesters can only take 5 gallons per person, per day. Harvesters are allowed to use up to 4 shrimp traps, which cannot have any external devices used to funnel shrimp directly into the trap. Florida shrimp fishing can be done in a variety of settings, some prefer fishing on the shore, but others have said fishing by boat gives more versatility and the best results. Shrimp usually move in clusters, so finding the right spot and casting a net can be rewarding. Shrimp are also attracted to light, which many shrimp harvesters use with their bait. Farmed shrimp are also produced in the Gulf of Mexico, at Gulf American Shrimp, the only commercial shrimp farm in the state of Florida. Shrimp are generally farmed in ponds where oxygen, pH levels, and water temperature are constantly monitored. Computer systems and electronic equipment act as a failsafe, automatically changing the composition of the water if a particular element, such as oxygen, drops below a satisfactory level. Scallops The harvesting season for Florida scallops runs from late June to late September. Scallops are typically found on Florida’s western coast, in what is known as the Bay Scallop Harvest Zone. Saltwater fishing licenses are required, as fishing for scallops is regulated by the state. There is also a daily bag limit for those harvesting scallops—a single pint of bay scallop meat per person.
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