Oil Spill Poses Major Threat to Seafood Industry
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What’s the problem?
As oil continues to spill into the Gulf of Mexico from last month’s Deepwater Horizon disaster, elected officials and experts wonder about long-term ecological and economic effects the accident will have on the state and its residents. In response to the tragic events, the Obama administration barred any new offshore drilling projects until the BP oil rig disaster that caused the spill is explained.
Last Friday, Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao called on his colleagues and the Obama administration to direct every available resource to contain the huge oil slick now beginning to wash ashore along the Louisiana coast.
“BP and the administration must understand what’s at stake for our wetlands, our commercial fishing industry and our economy,” Cao said. “There is no overestimating the devastation this spill could have if it is allowed to penetrate our already-fragile wetlands, starving oxygen from aquatic life and killing more coast. The potential consequences are truly scary. Five years ago, the federal government failed us during Hurricane Katrina. I will not stand by and let the government fail us again.”
Already grappling with imports of shrimp and other seafood, the Gulf of Mexico seafood industry is determined to do everything it can to avoid public concern about the safety of U.S.-caught seafood. Experts say that the spill could pose a significant danger to the industry if it damages fragile nursery grounds or seeps down into oyster beds.
Oystermen and shrimpers along the Gulf Coast worked at a feverish pace last week to haul in as much seafood as they could before the slick comes ashore. “We’re fighting a losing effort,” Louisiana oysterman Mitch Jurasich told The Associated Press.
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