The chamber unanimously passed a similar version of the proposal, Senate Bill 182, but since then Democrats said they've heard an outcry from seafood growers who oppose the bill.
Shellfish growers say a provision in the bill that would create an oyster harvesting season would severely limit their ability to do business. For example, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources would determine what time of year oysters could be harvested.
“Growing and cultivating shellfish is a difficult full-time job, not a hobby,” said Karen Sharpe, a Woodbine-based shellfish farmer. “To have any chance of ever making a living, a grower must put in eight- to 14-hour days and make a very large financial investment.”