The University of Florida Oyster Recovery Team will report the findings and recommendations from its study of the collapse of the 2012 Apalachicola Bay commercial oyster harvest in a public meeting on Wednesday, April 24, in Apalachicola.
Members of the community, oyster industry workers, representatives of resource agencies and any interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will begin at 1 p.m. in the Community Center and conclude by approximately 4 p.m., according to Karl Havens, director of Florida Sea Grant and the lead of the oyster recovery team.
The recovery team was formed by the University last September in response to a historic collapse of oyster populations that normally support a thriving commercial fishery. In the intervening months, researchers on the team have pursued a multi-faceted approach to develop a better understanding of the problem, and perhaps find ways of restoring sustainable populations of the area’s world-famous oysters.
Havens will begin the meeting with an overview of what the team has learned about possible causes of the collapse after analyzing data collected from established monitoring programs, as well as through recent field trials and experiments. He will then summarize the team’s recommendations about future monitoring and management of the bay’s oyster population.
Experts from the team will also be on hand to field specific questions from the audience, Havens said. There will also be a short demonstration of an ecosystem model that can be used to help community members evaluate fisheries and restoration policy options.
A written summary of the research team’s findings and recommendations will be provided at the meeting, as well as posted at this location after April 24.
April 24 Oyster Recovery Team Agenda (updated 4/18/2013)