Tuesday, August 10, 2010

NOAA Reopens Finfish Harvesting in Portion of Gulf of Mexico

Effective August 10th at 6pm, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) reopened an area 5,144 square miles to finfish harvesting only in the Gulf of Mexico. This area had previously been closed to commercial and recreational fishing due to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Fishing for non-finfish species, such as shrimp, is still prohibited in this area. This area previously was closed because oil had been present in the area but no oil has been documented since July 3rd. NOAA collected 153 finfish from this area and performed tests to determine if oil or dispersants were found in the samples. Sensory tests showed no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors and the chemical analysis results were well below levels of concern. Both NOAA and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are continuously working together to ensure seafood safety by closing fishing areas where tainted seafood could be caught and determining whether seafood is tainted or contaminated. For more information, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill.htm