Commercial fishing east of Mississippi River could reopen this week; Officials disregard visible oil and sheen

Commercial fishing east of Mississippi River could reopen this week reads a headline from today’s Times-Picayune.

The article reports, “For the FDA to consider allowing the state to reopen fishing grounds, an area must be completely free of oil for at least three days and be deemed unlikely to have more oil effects for another three days.”

Yet this is too restrictive for some decision makers who argue that the presence of oil sheen on the water is not a problem. Harlon Pearce, the chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and
Marketing Board said, “We’re going to have tar balls and sheen for a while, and we know that tar balls are aged oil. We know that they’re not volatile.”

“Louisiana officials have also taken issue with the FDA’s determination of whether oil is still present in an area, saying that light sheens and small amounts of oil should not be considered in the same league as the major oil patches,” according to the report.

Learn how dispersants allow toxic amounts of oil to be present in water that is perfectly clear:

More on Gulf seafood testing:

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