UF/IFAS Sea Grant staff from Franklin and Bay Counties are partnering with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to provide additional days for the required oyster/clam harvester training as prescribed by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) for the new license year which starts July 1, 2014. Harvesters can receive a certificate of training necessary to obtain a new license at the FDACS facility in Apalachicola at 260 Dr. Frederick S. Humphries Street in Apalachicola. The free education program lasts approximately 20 minutes. For additional information on these training opportunities call the FDACS Shellfish Center at 850-653-8317 or the UF/IFAS Franklin County Extension office at (850) 653-9337. This short program is replacing the two hour program first time harvesters have received in the past.
Annual harvester training provides a basic overview of oyster related issues such as safe handling of shellfish to prevent food borne illness. The latest information and strategies to preserve Apalachicola Bay’s oyster resources is also included and being updated each year with guidance from local seafood industry leaders, researchers, and resource managers. Complying with these new regulations helps protect the Apalachicola oyster industry and supports expansion of markets throughout the United States.
To purchase the Apalachicola Bay Oyster Licenses for $100 please bring a check or money order made payable to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The last day to purchase without a $500 penalty will be June 30. As a public service, FDACS is providing the Saltwater Products License (SPL) in conjunction with the Apalachicola Bay oyster harvesting license. You will receive your SPL upon purchase of your Apalachicola Bay Oyster License.