A Pensacola oyster farmer is among the finalists in an international competition for seafood industry innovators.
Donnie McMahon III will pitch his idea to make Pensacola a center for shellfish hatcheries and nurseries at California's Stanford University during the Fish 2.0 competition next month.
McMahon, owner of Pensacola Bay Oyster Co., is among 40 finalists competing for cash prizes up to $50,000. The finalists will present their business plans to a group of 300 venture capitalists, nonprofit foundations and industry experts.
"For me, it is less about the money and more about making the connections," said McMahon, who hopes to interest some of the creative thinkers and innovators at Fish 2.0 in Florida Panhandle projects.
His dream is for Pensacola to be the site of Florida's first oyster hatchery. The hatchery could supply oyster larvae to farmers statewide.
While coastal regions elsewhere in the country have embraced seafood farming and other changes in the seafood industry, the Gulf Coast has been a little slow to adapt, he said.