An algae bloom in Gulf Bay waters of Florida is causing big headaches for those planning to harvest bay scallops. The season was supposed to start today but due to this natural occurrence the season has been put on hold. This precaution is one that needs to be taken seriously. Officials warn against consuming shellfish from waters that have been closed. The algae bloom can produce an acid proved to be poisonous to humans. For more information keep an eye on the following website for reopening dates: http://shellfish.floridaaquaculture.com/seas/seas_centralgulf.htm.
“As a precautionary measure due to a naturally occurring algae bloom in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish, the bay scallop harvest originally scheduled to begin on July 25th in Gulf County waters will be temporarily postponed. This postponement includes all state waters from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. This does not impact other areas currently open for a recreational harvest. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is working closely with partners on this postponement including the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), which has also issued a precautionary closure for the harvest of clams, mussels and oysters in St. Joseph Bay.”