Biloxi, MS… The Deepwater Horizon oil discharge that is wreaking havoc across the Gulf Coast will not eliminate the availability of fresh, high quality shrimp, according to representatives of the American Shrimp Producers Association (“ASPA”).
“States across the coast, along with multiple federal agencies, are closely monitoring the impact of the oil spill,” said David Veal, Executive Director of ASPA. “The spill may have an impact on the supply of some seafood, but we are still producing and are going to continue producing quality shrimp.”
The Gulf shrimp industry produces approximately 180 million of the 1.2 billion pounds of shrimp consumed in the United States. Officials from the Louisiana Departments of Wildlife and Fisheries and Health and Hospitals issued a precautionary ban on fishing in parts of the state, but fishing continues on the west side of the Mississippi River. “Areas outside the closed area account for more than 2/3 of the Gulf Shrimp production. Seventy percent of the Gulf harvest remains untouched by the oil spill,” Veal said. “Hopefully the only impact on the industry will be a slight delay in the opening of the brown shrimp season.” As a precaution authorities have closed federal fishing waters from the Mississippi River east to the panhandle of Florida for a ten day period.
Like everyone along the coast, members of the eight-state association are holding their breath and praying that BP, along with state and federal agencies, can cap the well and take the necessary steps to mitigate any long-term damages.
“The public should know that shrimp processors are interested in producing only the best quality and safest shrimp,” Veal said. “Consumers can rest assured that any shrimp they buy will be safe for consumption.”
“We continue to closely monitor both the progress of the efforts to cap the well and the potential impact of the spill on our product,” noted Eddy Hayes, counsel to the American Shrimp Processors Association. “Our association is committed to do whatever it takes to ensure the short-term continued quality of our product, and to make sure that this disaster does not negatively impact our long-term market efforts. We are making progress in our continued fight against unfairly dumped imports and we refuse to allow this disaster to set us back.”#####
For more information, please contact:
Eddy Hayes, Legal Counsel, ASPA
David Veal, Executive Director, ASPA