Home > Mass Animal Deaths > Florida: Die-Off Reported In Pensacola’s Oyster Beds, ‘Something Happened in August, And It Had To Be Massive’

Florida: Die-Off Reported In Pensacola’s Oyster Beds, ‘Something Happened in August, And It Had To Be Massive’

“PENSACOLA, Fla. — State scientists will head to the Florida Panhandle this week to check on East Bay oyster beds where oystermen are reporting a die-off.

Oyster season opened Oct. 1. Oystermen have reported pulling up dead oysters from beds that had been filled with large, healthy oysters at the end of the last harvest season on June 30.

‘We’re finding very few alive,’ Pasco Gibson, a main supplier of the East Bay oysters, told the Pensacola News Journal (http://on.pnj.com/t1Ziy7). ‘This time of the year, we should be catching 500 to 1,000 pounds per boat a day. We’re not even catching a hundred pounds.’

Gibson’s six oyster boats are mostly idle, and some of his freelance oystermen are heading to Apalachicola to look for work. He said the meager harvests have cost him 40 percent of his income.

Depending on what’s killing the oysters, once they start growing back, it could take up to three years to grow them large enough to harvest, he said.

‘Something happened in August, and it had to be massive because some of these beds are 10 miles apart,’ Gibson said of the beds scattered near the shorelines of East Bay.

Scientists from the Department of Agriculture’s Division of Aquaculture will check the oyster beds this week.” Read more.

Categories: Mass Animal Deaths
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