Closed shrimp-harvesting area in Escambia Co. reopens
Monday, August 16, 2010
Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) will reopen state waters offshore of Escambia
County to the harvest of shrimp at 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 17. The
FWC had temporarily closed this area to the harvest of fish, shrimp
and crabs on June 14 as a precautionary measure due to possible
effects of oil from the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of
Mexico. The FWC reopened the area to the harvest of fish on
"Reopening these waters to shrimping is another
positive step forward in Florida's recovery from the BP oil spill,"
said Nick Wiley, executive director of the FWC. "It serves as
a reminder that seafood caught in Florida waters is healthy and
great to eat."
The FWC is reopening this 23-mile stretch of state
waters to shrimp-harvesting because a careful laboratory analysis
of shrimp collected there confirms they are oil-free and safe to
eat. The sampling and laboratory tests were conducted under
the supervision of the United States Food and Drug Administration
and NOAA, and the tested shrimp passed all standards for safe
The temporarily closed shrimping area, which
included state waters from the beaches out 9 nautical miles into
the Gulf from the Florida/Alabama border east to the Pensacola
Beach water tower, has been closely monitored by state officials
using aerial over-flights and visual observations on the
water. Oil has not been observed there for some time.
Oysters, clams and mussels were not included in the
closure and have always remained open to harvest. However,
the area will remain closed to the harvest of crabs pending
More information on the FWC's response to the BP
oil spill is available online at MyFWC.com/OilSpill.