Florida Seafood and Aquaculture

Commercial Fishing Season Advisories

Information regarding commercial fishing seasons, harvest quotas, size limits, catch limits, water closures and openings, rules, safety examinations, etc. as issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA Fisheries Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, Coast Guard, Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, and other agencies.

Florida Alligator Meat, Skins and Hides

Florida is home to several suppliers of alligator products.  Many offer alligator meat and meat products, finished hides, raw and crusted skins,  and finished leather products or novelty items.  Alligator meat is usually purchased frozen, but it is also available fresh. Alligator leather is particularly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. Because each alligator hide has a unique pattern of “tiles” (or scales), each item made from alligator leather is unique, making them highly regarded and much sought after.

Florida Seafood and Aquaculture Overview and Statistics

Florida ranks among the top 12 states for fresh seafood production and seventh in aquaculture sales.  Find information about these industries such as top 20 Florida species in dollars and pounds, Florida seafood harvest by county, Florida marine life harvests, Florida aquaculture product sales, and more.

Food Safety: Raw Oysters

When dining in or out, enjoy your oysters fully cooked.  Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that occurs naturally in marine waters. It is not a threat to most healthy people, but can cause illness in people with certain medical conditions. Fully cooking oysters completely kills the bacteria, so you can continue to enjoy oysters in many cooked preparations. When dining at restaurants, order oysters fully cooked if you have one of the risk conditions.

Handling and Serving Oysters

Strict oyster harvesting and handling standards are imposed on fishermen, farmers, packers and distributors. Guidelines for quality control are provided for handling oysters in the shell (shell stock), and for handling shucked meat in containers.  These guidelines will help ensure that oysters will have less spoilage, a longer shelf life and provide better economic return.

Mislabeling Seafood Products Is Illegal

Consumers need to be informed when it comes to buying seafood. Knowing what to look for when shopping at a seafood retail market or grocery store, or while dining in a restaurant, can help consumers get what they pay for. Unfortunately, there have been instances when some wholesalers, retailers and restaurants have substituted lesser-value fish without the consumer’s knowledge. Mislabeling seafood products is against the law.

Seafood "How To" Tips

Everything you need to know about seafood. These tips make preparing delicious Florida seafood at home a breeze. Topics include shopping for seafood, storing and preparing seafood, tips on cooking fish (boiling, broiling, frying, grilling), tips on cooking shellfish (broiling, frying, steaming), and marinating.

Seafood Festivals

Florida is known for its commercial fishing heritage and quality seafood products. Many Florida communities are home to annual festivals that celebrate the positive impact of commercial fishing and seafood. These family-oriented events have a local flair that is unique to each community. All feature delicious local seafood, and many have live musical performances by local and regional acts, arts and crafts vendors, children’s rides, parades, 5K run/walks, cooking demonstrations, and competitions such as oyster shucking.

Seafood Industry Trade Leads

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services obtains trade leads from various sources provides them to Florida seafood and aquaculture companies monthly.  If you are a Florida seafood company seeking to expand your markets, sign up to receive trade leads.  If your company is looking for Florida seafood products to buy, sign up to receive a list of producers that can fill your seafood order.

Seafood Menu Item Misrepresentation and Product Substitution

Florida law prohibits misrepresentation or undisclosed substitution of food. Menus or any other manner used to promote or advertise items for sale must be accurate and truthful. Species of seafood cannot be substituted for one another, and must be accurately and truthfully promoted. Violators are subject to penalties and license suspension or revocation.

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