NOAA confirms sick fish in Gulf, Pensacola News Journal, May 25, 2011:
[...] for the first time [NOAA's] warning anglers that some fish are sick and may pose health problems if handled or eaten raw.
The agency is telling anglers to toss fish that have lesions, fin rot or discolored skin back into the Gulf and to be careful about handling them. [...]
Jim Cowan Jr., a Louisiana State University Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences scientist studying the sick fish:
- For months, fishermen and scientists have been finding sick fish from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Panama City.
- Lesions on red snapper found within 20 miles of Orange Beach, Alabama were infected with the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus and Photobacterium damselae. Photobacterium damselae could be responsible for a massive fish loss and can pose serious health problems for humans.
- "I'm very worried because I've talked to both commercial and recreational fishermen who have been in the business 30 to 40 years and no one has seen anything like this."