How much do you know about the Florida alligator industry?
Florida is known for many things, and it’s agriculture and wildlife are certainly two of them. Those two areas come together in the Florida alligator industry. While it’s not the biggest sector of Florida ag, the alligator industry has been an important part of Florida aquaculture ever since the alligator was taken off the Endangered Species List in 1987. Explore this unique industry below.
The Florida Alligator Industry
The American alligator is the official state reptile of Florida, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) maintains there are over 1 million wild alligators in Florida’s waterways, but they are not a huge source of alligators. The farming of alligators helps to reduce illegal poaching while supplying the alligator meat and skins that is called for. The alligator is considered a sustainable resource.
Per the Bureau of Seafood and Aquaculture Marketing, a division of FDACS, there are 28 aquaculture companies in Florida that farm alligators. They are able to supply alligator meat, meat products, and skins anywhere from raw to fully processed. Alligator skins are used to make luxury goods like shoes, belts, bags, and more.
In 2015, the latest data available, Florida alligator farms harvested more than 21,000 alligator hides and almost 189,000 pounds of alligator meat. It was worth over $8 million with the average value of an anlligator hide at just under $400. Approximately 15,000 to 18,000 farm-raised alligator skins are harvested a year, compared with the 6,500 to 7,000 wild alligator skins that are taken annually.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.