MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. – A longstanding tradition returns this weekend.
The Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival is back.
The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
This is a very important event for the commercial fishing industry. The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It promotes the Fishing Village which produces a lot of seafood that people eat all over Florida.
Organizers call this authentic Florida event a “party with a purpose.”
Money raised here goes to support local conservation efforts to keep the fishing village going.
The organizers have been preparing this festival for weeks. It is run by volunteers from the Florida Institute for Saltwater Heritage (FISH).
Money raised today goes to the nearby fish sanctuary they care for, which is 95 acres of undeveloped land.
It is a great habitat for marine life.
Preserving this land allows the fishing village of Cortez to continue and provide seafood throughout the state.
“A lot of that Florida seafood comes through the docks at Cortez,” said Florida Sea Grant agent Angela Collins. “So protecting the culture and these waterfronts where commercial seafood is produced is really important to our local and national economy.”