Escambia, Santa Rosa shellfish harvest area closes

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will close the Escambia Bay Shellfish Harvest Area at sunset on Sunday, March 10, according to an FDACS news release.

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The closure, which affects Florida’s Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, restricts “the harvest of oysters, clams, and mussels,” the release said.

Oyster harvest, seen up close
Oyster harvesting in the Escambia Bay Shellfish Harvest Area will be restricted after sunset March 10. (Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg. Courtesy Getty. Used with permission.)

However, it noted, “In this context, shellfish does not include scallops, shrimp, or crabs.”

Conditions required under the harvest area’s management plan have changed, according to the release, which said officials will collect and analyze water samples until results align with that plan.

Florida Administrative Code allows for the action to be taken, according to the department.

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To learn more about scallop harvesting, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 850-487-0554.

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