The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Marine Resources Division (MRD) announces the re-opening to the harvest of fish from all areas previously closed as a precautionary response to the presence of oil from the Deepwater Horizon Incident. These areas include all Alabama Gulf of Mexico waters out to three miles and the remaining closed waters of Mobile Bay that are just north of the Fort Morgan Peninsula. These waters reopened at 6 a.m., Monday, August 16. This includes both commercial and recreational fishing. In addition to finfish, the area north of Fort Morgan is also open to shrimping.
ADCNR has worked closely with the Alabama Department of Public Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to ensure the health and safety of the public during the events following the Deepwater Horizon incident. In correspondence addressing the results of recent testing of seafood from the remaining closed areas, the FDA states that, “Sensory evaluation of 50 finfish and 16 shrimp samples for odors indicative of contamination was conducted on August 11-12, 2010. No samples demonstrated odors indicative of oil or dispersant contamination. After sensory evaluation, the samples were forwarded to a chemistry laboratory for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) analysis. Compositing of like species from like sample locations resulted in 10 separate finfish and three separate shrimp samples for PAH analysis. All samples were analyzed using the LC-Fluorescence method. The chemical analyses were completed on August 13, 2010. PAH levels in all samples are significantly below the levels of concern established in the reopening protocol, which was agreed upon by Alabama officials, NOAA and FDA.”
Harvest of crabs is still prohibited in all areas that were closed including the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi Sound, Pelican Bay and the area in Mobile Bay north of Fort Morgan. Analyses are currently being conducted on blue crabs from affected areas. The results will be made public as soon as they are received.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.