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Florida shuts down bay known nationally for its oysters

FILE - In this April 2, 2015, file photo, Gene Dasher, left, and Frankie Crosby, center, use wire baskets on the end of 14-foot handles to tong oysters while Misty Crosby separates clumps of oysters at Apalachicola Bay, near Eastpoint, Fla. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation will shut down wild oyster harvesting for as long as five years. The Commissioners hope that the pause and $20 million in restoration and monitoring, will restore a portion of the oyster fishery. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser, File)

By BRENDAN FARRINGTON The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida agency voted to shut down oyster harvesting in Apalachicola Bay through the end of 2025. The Florida Fish and Wildlife voted unanimously for the closure what will deal a blow to an area that historically produced 90% of the state’s oysters and 10% of the nation’s. The commission issued an emergency order in July shutting down oyster harvesting on Aug. 1 and said Wednesday that if conditions improve more quickly, they may end the closure sooner. The industry has struggled for years, in large part due to a drain on freshwater flowing into the bay. Atlanta uses the water upstream as a water supply.


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