On February 2, NOAA reopened 4,213 square miles of Gulf of Mexico federal waters off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to royal red shrimping.
This area was previously closed to this kind of deep water fishing on November 24, 2010 after a commercial shrimper found tar balls in his net. The tar balls were tested to see if they came from the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil, but the results were inconclusive. The waters were tested for oil and dispersant but nothing was found.
Roy Crabtree announced that there are no problems, “extensive testing of royal red shrimp and other fish from this area revealed they are safe to eat…seafood safety and consumer confidence remain a priority for NOAA, and we will continue monitoring Gulf seafood for as long as necessary to ensure its integrity.”
These waters were initially closed after the Deepwater Horizon/BP spill and were reopened on November 15, only a a few days before the tar balls were found.
All seafood tested by NOAA and the FDA post-spill proves that seafood is safe for consumption. NOAA is still working closely with the FDA and the Gulf states effected by this to ensure seafood safety. To date, they are continuing their post-spill broad-scale sampling strategy which includes collecting and testing samples from inside and outside the closure areas.
NOAA offeres several ways to learn more or sign up for notifications of any changes to the closed area:
- Sign up to receive Southeast Fishery Bulletins by email at SERO.Communications.Comments@noaa.gov
- Call 1-800-627-NOAA (1-800-627-6622) to hear a recording of the current coordinates (message in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish – coordinates in English)
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for messages about the closure
- Follow NOAA on Twitter: usnoaagov to get a tweet when the closed area changes
Copyright © 2011by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC