Editorial l Importance to the local economy requires vigilance | Editorial

Widely considered one of the healthiest seafood, scallops are prized for their delicate texture and flavor. The waters of Citrus County are also ranked among the top scallop producing areas, making scallop farming a very important part of the local economy.

Scallops generally have a lifespan of one year and a high mortality rate, making them a fragile resource that cannot be taken for granted. With this in mind, the low number of scallops this season, which runs from July 1 to his September 24, has caught the attention of Citrus County Tourism Development Council (TDC) members. increase.

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Concerned that this season’s low numbers could be a harbinger of worse times to come, TDC members suggested at a recent meeting that the current two-gallon-per-bag limit be replaced with a three-tier bag limit. entertained the discussion about whether it is time to replace the Whole scallops per day and 10 gallons per container per day.

A three-tier baggage limit allows 1 gallon per person and 5 gallons per vessel in July. In August he was 2 gallons per person and 10 gallons per vessel. 3 gallons per person and 15 gallons per vessel in September.

Studies show that removing less scallops early in the season and more removal at the end of the season has less impact on sustainability. resource.

However, the scallop population is so large that the TDC decided to impose a three-level bag limit after encouraging a wait-and-see approach by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which has the power to change bag limits. Decided to put it on the back burner. Hot and cold scallop seasons are not uncommon.

TDC’s watchful eye also looks to the future for the potential creation of scallop marks. This was added to the legislative agenda by the county commissioner at the request of the TDC. If ultimately approved by Congress, the $10 stamp will be part of the saltwater fishing license needed to secure funding for additional scallop research, enforcement, and sustainability efforts. Become.

With Scallop, a very important component of our county’s economy, TDC’s vigilance and proactive initiatives are highly appreciated and applauded.

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