The state of Louisiana has opened all of its waters to recreational fishing, but not to commercial fishermen just yet. It's a decision that has drown some ire from the commercial fishing industry.
Commercial fishermen said that either the seafood is safe to eat or it isn't and the state shouldn't pit one industry against another.
The Wildlife and Fisheries say they are testing fish samples for testing and analysis in preparation for reopening areas closed to commercial fishing.
With today's action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.
LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:
Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an 'intent to reopen' to NOAA and the FDA
LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area
Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination. This process is expected to take between seven and ten days
After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening
For a map detailing today's recreational openings click here.