Geoff Morrell, head of US Communications, issued the following statement:
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has extended the closure of fisheries to additional areas around the Grand Terre Islands without explaining the reasons for the closure, or offering data to show that closure is needed.
Since 2010, the Gulf Coast states, including Louisiana, have tested roughly 10,000 shellfish and finfish specimens. Not one test has exceeded thresholds for human health established by the Food and Drug Administration. Gulf seafood is the most rigorously tested seafood in the country, and every test conducted – by multiple state and federal agencies – has shown the same thing: Gulf seafood is safe.
By extending fishery closures, the state may help perpetuate the myth that consumers should avoid Gulf seafood and tourists should avoid Louisiana’s waters. When no scientific basis is provided for the decision, Louisiana does a disservice to the thousands of people who work in the commercial fishing, recreational fishing, and tourism industries and who depend on those industries for their livelihoods.
The state’s decision to extend the fishery closure appears to be groundless, and that hurts the people of Louisiana and the reputation of the state.
Name: BP US Press Office
Phone: (281) 366-4463