Pursuant to Section 9-12-28, Code of Alabama 1975 as stated by Rule 220-3-.02, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ (ADCNR) Marine Resources Division (MRD) announces that all public water bottoms will close to the harvest of oysters on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.
Summary of Alabama's Oyster Harvest
Alabama’s public oyster reefs opened for harvest on October 12, 2020, and will close for the season on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. The cooperation between MRD, the Alabama Department of Public Health, commercial oyster catchers, and seafood dealers led to a successful harvest this season.
Management zones were opened to harvest for 47 days. During that time, nearly 22,000 sacks of oysters were harvested totaling almost 2 million pounds. The harvest was double the previous season’s harvest.
“The harvest this season provided a valuable economic boost to the local community,” said Scott Bannon, MRD Director. “With the financial impacts of the pandemic affecting so many people, oystering provided a much needed opportunity for employment. There were multiple days where more than 140 harvesters were on the water averaging more than 800 sacks harvested per day. I have rarely seen numbers like that over my 23 year career. In addition, people all over the country had an opportunity to enjoy Alabama’s great tasting oysters.”
This season, a new system for identifying areas open for harvest was used for the first time that allowed MRD to ensure maximum opportunities for harvesters while minimizing the potential for overharvesting. MRD will continue to work toward restoring and maintaining Alabama’s oyster reefs to ensure oysters can be enjoyed for generations to come.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.