FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 27, 2014
BAY SCALLOP SEASON BEGINS IN FLORIDA
Bay scallop harvesting important for local economy near two aquatic preserves.
CRYSTAL RIVER – Bay scallop season begins tomorrow for the Big Bend
Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve and the St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve and
runs through September 24. The
fresh seafood brings economic bounty to the region, which is home to the
state’s largest population of bay scallops.
Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve supports the state’s largest and most stable population
of bay scallops,” said Tim Jones, manager of St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve
and Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve. “In fact, many of Big Bend’s small
coastal communities depend on the millions of dollars in revenue generated by
the annual recreational harvest of bay scallops.”
families visit the region each summer to snorkel through the pristine grass
beds in search of this tasty treat. Some of the more popular destinations include
Crystal River, Homosassa Springs, Steinhatchee and St. Marks.
contains some of the world’s most immense coastal salt marshes and includes the
second-largest contiguous seagrass bed in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Seagrass
communities are vital to the health of estuaries in the region and support many
of the area’s economically important commercial and recreational fisheries.
The Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve is the largest of
Florida’s 41 aquatic preserves, spanning more than 984,000 acres. DEP's Florida Coastal
Office manages Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve and St. Martin’s
Marsh Aquatic Preserve along with 39 other aquatic preserves, the Florida Keys
National Marine Sanctuary and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. FCO’s
programs and activities are designed to help Floridians better understand and
conserve the state’s resources through research, education and preservation.
For more information on Big Bend Seagrasses Aquatic Preserve, click HERE.
For more information about St.
Martin’s Marsh Aquatic Preserve click HERE.