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Oil spill shuts off more oyster harvesting

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Posted: May 11, 2010 2:00 AM by Matthew Wattigny
Source: LA Dept. of Health & Hospitals

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Topics: oil spill, oysters, shrimp, fisheries, crawfish, seafood, state health department, state wildlife department

The growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to affect Louisiana's seafood industry nearly three weeks after an offshore rig exploded and sank.

Monday, the state's Department of Health and Hospitals closed oyster harvesting bed Area 13, effective at sunset. The area is west of the Mississippi River in Lafourche and Jefferson parishes. Last week, the oil slick moved in that direction, and the state has taken steps to prevent any potentially-tainted seafood from reaching the market. A map showing all oyster closures can be found here.

Earlier Monday, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries opened western waters to recreational and commercial fishing, including shrimping. Those details were posted on WBRZ.com when they were released and a map is available here.

Louisiana Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain also reminded consumers that crawfish is safe to eat. In a release, he promised that the supply will not be affected by the oil spill because crawfish are raised in freshwater ponds and the Atchafalaya Basin. Crawfishermen say the current flows down the Atchafalaya River which prevents oil from getting upstream into the fishing areas.

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