Harvesters Struggle to Find Live Oysters in Cedar Key
Published October 12th, 2012
CEDAR KEY - It's a tiny town known for it's big seafood industry, but residents of Cedar Key say this year's oyster harvest is almost non-existent.
After suffering from drought-like conditions for the past few years, Tropical Storm Debby dumped several inches of fresh rain water into the ecosystem several months ago, disturbing the oysters and killing many of them.
While harvesters say 2010's BP oil spill also contributed to this year's shortage, officials from the state Department of Agriculture say the spill has nothing to do with it.
But there is no disputing the fact that this year's lack of oysters has put several harvesters in a tough spot. Many of them say the conditions this year are some of the worst they've ever seen. Although the oyster population is suffering, fisherman say Cedar Key's clams are doing just fine.
Gov. Rick Scott has asked Congress for federal aid, but they have yet to act. Many harvesters do not expect them to act anytime soon, as this is an election year. Until then, many harvesters have been forced to find other sources of income.
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