In major vote of confidence for the Louisiana Seafood Industry, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that Gulf fish and shellfish – harvested from areas unaffected by the precautionary closures of fishing waters – are considered safe to eat.
The FDA has been working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), other Federal agencies, and several state authorities in the regions affected by the recent oil spill. FDA continues to closely monitor this developing situation and its potential impact on the safety of seafood harvested from the area.
FDA operates a mandatory safety program for all fish and fishery products under the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the Public Health Service Act, and related regulations. The FDA program includes research, inspection, compliance, enforcement, outreach and the development of regulations and industry guidance. FDA works closely with NOAA and the states whenever commercial fishing waters are closed for public health reasons and again when they are reopened to harvest.
NOAA is closely monitoring the surface and subsurface movement of petroleum and is expanding the closed area as needed. The states are also closing harvest waters under their jurisdiction as needed. There is no reason to believe, according to the FDA, that any contaminated product has made its way to the market.