A day after some Gulf fishermen went public with concerns over methods used to clear Gulf seafood as oil and chemical free — a process that  basically amounts to a smell test — Governor Bobby Jindal renewed his call for BP to fund a long-term seafood safety plan. Yesterday, Jindal met with commercial fishermen at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice and took the opportunity to ratchet up pressure on BP. According to a press release on the event, Jindal called the plan part of BP’s obligation to fully restoring the coast and critical to ensuring the long-term viability of the industry in Louisiana:
Much of our water is now reopened to recreational fishing and now our commercial fishing is beginning to come back. As we move forward with more re-openings, this is absolutely a critical time to put in place a long-term recovery plan for our Louisiana seafood industry.
We submitted proposals to BP to conduct a five-year fishery resource-monitoring plan and to increase testing and sampling. We need BP to approve this plan right away so we can move forward on our plan to conduct 400 samplings of shrimp, crab, oysters, and finfish each month in all coastal parishes and waters to guarantee the safety of the state’s seafood and fisheries and to complement the ongoing water sampling.

Under our seafood plan, the state will also ramp up monitoring and sampling activities to expedite knowledge of fishery areas that are safe so Louisiana can open these waters and get fishermen back in their boats as soon as possible. 

We also submitted a long-term 20-year seafood safety plan to BP on May 29, 2010, to fund the creation of a Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program that will enable us to oversee seafood processing from catch to retail. This will allow our Louisiana seafood harvesters and processors to certify that their products adhere to best practices, guaranteeing quality for American consumers and demonstrating that people in Louisiana stand behind their products.

Again, we call on BP to immediately approve the funding for this long-term seafood safety and marketing plan. We want the world to know that Louisiana seafood is not only safe – but continues to be the best seafood in the world.

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