TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Captain Rick Sutton is one of the Tampa Bay area’s premiere shellers, or people who collect seashells. It’s a growing hobby here in Florida, but Sutton wants to make sure you know the rules.
Here are his tips for ethical shelling:
1. Never take live shells.
2. Do not over-collect shells; it is not about quantity it is about quality.
3. Do not hunt in dunes or nesting areas and never make birds fly. Move around the colonies of birds on the beach without making them fly.
4. Pick up trash along with shells. Leave the beach cleaner than when you arrived.
5. Never dig holes or shell pits. Do not disturb the ecosystem.
6. Teach others about ethical shell hunting and proper shell-hunting behavior.
7. Take more pictures than you take seashells.
8. Avoid purchasing shells that have not been harvested ethically.
9. Shell hunting is about spending time appreciating the beauty of nature and the company of your fellow shell hunters.
10. Be an advocate for the environment. Donate to, volunteer for, and support wildlife causes that you feel passionate about.