New training required for shellfish harvesters 

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A series of workshops is being provided by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), University of Florida  IFAS, and Florida Sea Grant to assist the molluscan  shellfish industry in Florida attain the harvester education training required for certification, recertification or licensing.

As of January, the federal government modified the National Sanitation Shellfish Program’s (NSSP) Model Ordinance to include new food safety training requirements. 

Under the new mandate, shellfish harvesters, shellfish growers, lease holders, authorized users or any water lease workers are required to obtain approved training on processing, handling and transportation practices prior to certification, recertification or licensing.  No Saltwater Products License (SPL) or aquaculture certificate (AQ card) for shellfish harvesting will be issued without proof of training. 

 To meet the new harvester and aquaculture education training requirements, the following 12 workshops are being held on these dates – May 7, May 8, May 14 and May 15. 

On each day, workshops are offered at 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Attendance is required at only one workshop, which will be held in the classroom of the FWC Senator George Kirkpatrick Marine Lab, 11350 SW 153rd Court, Cedar Key.

For more information, contact Kim Norgren, FDACS Division of Aquaculture, by phone, 850-488-4033, or email at Kimberly.Norgren@freshfromflorida.com or Leslie Sturmer with UF IFAS Shellfish Aquaculture Extension Program, by phone (352) 543-5057, or by email at LNST@ufl.edu.