Life on the Half Shell – Real Life TV


Apalachicola’s Oyster Men

Life is lived on the half shell around Apalachicola Bay.
Life is raw. Fresh. Distinctive here.
There’s plenty of sunshine, salty air, and natural beauty in this idyllic coastal town on Florida’s Panhandle.
The people here work hard. They play hard. And then work even harder.

Their lives are tied to the shallow waters of Apalachicola Bay, and in Apalachicola Bay oysters rule.
Oysters are big business here. Apalachicola oysters account for more than 90 percent of Florida’s harvest and 10 percent of the nationwide harvest of oysters each year.
At the heart of this industry are the men and women who work tirelessly tonging for wild oysters in the bay. Here, on Apalachicola Bay’s working waterfront, wild oysters are still harvested the old-fashioned way – using tongs that look like giant scissors.
To make a decent living tonging oysters from the Bay, these oyster men have to be tougher than tough.
They have to brave the elements – the brutal Florida sun and sudden, violent storms. Other creatures in the Bay can cause havoc too. If the elements and other marine life don’t knock them off of their boats, then the River Keepers or enforcement agents who regulate the Bay and oystering just might. If the oyster men get past those hurdles, it’s time for them to put on their salesman’s cap and find a Buyer who can turn their harvest into cash.
Life really is lived on the half shell around Apalachicola Bay. It’s raw. It’s fresh. And it’s distinctive. But no one ever said life here was easy.

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