The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering closing scallop season for two years. The issue will be discussed at a meeting tonight.
“Scientific monitoring of bay scallops in St. Joseph Bay indicates that the bay scallop population has declined severely due to impacts of red tide. As a result, the bay scallop population is too low to sustain and recover from an open season for scalloping this summer,” officials wrote in a news release. “To help ensure the bay scallop population can recover as quickly as possible, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is making arrangements to cancel the 2016 harvest season in state waters west of St. Vincent Island including St. Joseph Bay.”
To provide more information about this situation and address questions, FWC is hosting a meeting starting at 5 p.m. Eastern Time, Wednesday, April 27 at the Gulf County BOCC Meeting Room, Robert M. Moore Administration Building, 1000 Cecil G. Costin Sr. Blvd. in Port St. Joe.
FWC research and management staff will be on hand, along with representatives of local government, to field questions about the pending season cancellation and the plan to speed recovery of the local scallop population and minimize economic impacts.