PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - Friday afternoon, the lot Peace River Seafood was packed with blue crabbers unloading their daily catches. During a typical summer, this could be their last trip for ten days while Florida Fish and Wildlife rounds up derelict crab traps. “That's like 2 weeks out of the month you lose cause your traps are on the hill,” crabber Rodney Hendrickson said, “Then you got to put them back in, so you lose a few more days until they start catching again.”
But with thousands of gallons of thick oil gushing into the Gulf daily FWC called it off. “We're trying to give these guys some time to get a little extra work in before this thing could possibly hit us,” FWC Officer Ron Howard said. “We don't just police these guys, we work together.”
Although there have been no reports of oil in Southwest Florida's waters, FWC is taking this action to help alleviate any potential financial hardships as the result of the BP oil spill. Talk to local crabbers, and these 10 extra days can make a big impact We're talking dollar signs. “About $3,000,” Hendrickson said.
And more crabs means happy customers at Peace River Seafood, where blue crab is the star of the show. “10 extra days is going to help every crabber out there,” Kelly Beall of Peace River Seafood said. “It's going to give them 10 extra days to make money, 10 extra days to work on the water, that they may or may not have a few months from now.”