LDWF Begins Process of Reopening Commercial Fishing in Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays by Collecting Seafood Samples for Federal Testing
Baton Rouge (September 9, 2010) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is moving forward with sampling of crab, shrimp and finfish in closed commercial fishing areas west of the Mississippi Delta, which is the first step in reopening these state waters to commercial fishing.
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concurred with Louisiana's request to begin the reopening process in Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays, which were originally closed to commercial fishing earlier this summer after confirmed reports of oil suspected to be from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
This marks the first federal testing to take place on seafood in these waters since the state issued the emergency closures. Once samples from these areas are determined to be safe of all hydrocarbons and dispersant substance, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham intends to order immediate openings to commercial fishing in these areas, which will leave only five percent of commercial fishing areas closed.
Currently, LDWF fisheries biologists are collecting thousands of specimens of crab, shrimp and finfish in Terrebonne and Timbalier bays to submit to the FDA and NOAA for sensory testing and chemical analysis. Once these samples are processed, the FDA will render its decision on the reopening.
LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:
For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP at http://www.twitter.com/GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.