On May 29, Louisiana officials sent a letter to British Petroleum outlining their plan for a long-term seafood safety plan. In addition to sending a detailed proposal for a 20-year, multi-agency initiative, the state is also requesting BP make $457 million available for implementation of the program.
Click here for a copy of the letter in its entirety
The state is currently negotiating for a five-year, $173 M plan
As outlined in the seafood safety plan, the intent of this proposal is to institute a seafood certification program that will provide seafood consumers confidence that Louisiana’s seafood is monitored and safe.
The state will use three criteria to determine the success of the initial five years of work.
- Tissue sample results show no indicators that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is present.
- Landings of Louisiana’s major species of seafood (shrimp, crabs, oysters and fish) are at or above pre-spill levels.
- Louisiana’s markets are restored and the overall value of our seafood is at or above pre-spill amounts.
The state was forced to close vast amounts of waters to both recreational and commercial fishing due to the potential effects of the Mississippi Canyon 252 Oil Spill. In an effort to resume as much fishing activity as possible, it is imperative that the three tiered, multi-agency proposed plan be implemented in an expedient manner.
Three tiers to the proposed Seafood Safety Plan
Seafood Safety Testing, Monitoring and Evaluation
- Samples collected for analyses under the purview of this plan are intended to represent commercially and recreationally harvested species that are landed in Louisiana for the purposes of human health risk assessment and fisheries closure/openings.
Louisiana Seafood Safety Public Education (Education and Marketing Component)
- Louisiana is known for its high-quality seafood. The state produces one-third of the seafood consumed in the U.S. and the $3 billion seafood industry is a major economic engine as well as a significant draw for tourists both domestic and international.
- Even as we prove, through extensive testing, that our seafood is safe when the MC 252 event subsides, it is clear there has been extensive damage to the public perception of seafood grown and harvested in Louisiana.
- This plan outlines an extensive effort to understand consumer behavior behind the perceptions, produce a campaign to educate the public on the safety and quality of Louisiana seafood, and monitor the effectiveness of the campaign for its duration.
Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program
- In an effort to improve consumer trust in Louisiana seafood, seafood products, restaurants and related businesses, the Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program will be created, which allows for both Louisiana seafood harvesters and processors to certify their products based on quality control and food safety standards.