For years, people have been harvesting oysters by digging them out at low tide, or by tonging, using a long post hole type tool to lift the bivalves from the water. As freshwater supplies put a damper on Florida's oyster production, many believe the future is in oyster ranching.
In what may soon be the largest oyster ranch in Florida, there are 38 leases, totaling more than 50 acres devoted to growing oysters in cages in Panacea.
Rob Olin owns several leases and has organized a co-op to manage the oysters from the spat to the table.
Attorney Fred Harris is one of the brains behind the co-op.
"We helped put this together so the co-op would be the marketing arm, and the branding arm, and the distribution arm." Harris said.