I just read the article that Mr. Scott Lindsey wrote in The News Herald Sunday, July 21. Let me be the first to say that he hit the nail on the head. I hope some of the people at the FWC also read the article.
It is a shame that the dollar has become the determining factor as to when the scallop season opens. Because of this greed, it is now a huge waste. If the season were to open a month later, the scallop yield would be about twice what it is now, with the same quantity of scallops. Mr. Lindsey, I also spoke about scallops being wasted when the tourists find out how time consuming it is to clean them.
Most of the locals don’t even start scalloping until August because of the size of the scallops. I know we have the advantage of living here and can afford the patience to wait until they have a little size but because the season opens earlier, the tourists come earlier.
It is true that some of the local businesses would suffer for the first part of summer because of a lower number of tourists but it would not prevent them from coming all together. People are still going to come to our beautiful community. When the scallop season opens a month later, we would be swamped with tourism as usual. When those that came for scallops left, they would have something to take back with them.
I am well aware that a lot of people in Gulf County depend on the tourist dollar and I want this area to thrive. I was raised here and I also raised my children here. If you look at the big picture, by waiting one month, we would have more meat in the scallops which would lower the amount needed to achieve the limit and increase the amount left for others to harvest. Once the tourist depart our community and return home, the news about their experience would spread and increase the number of tourists for next season.
In closing, it's time for logic to replace greed.
Port St. Joe