As waters reopen for fishing in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, BP’s chief operating officer Doug Suttles offered a public confidence boost for the local seafood industry saying on Sunday he would “absolutely” eat Gulf of Mexico seafood.
Louisiana state authorities recently reopened 2,400 square miles of local waters for fishing federal officials reopened approximately a third of previously closed waters last week after the area had been oil-free for over 30 days.
Suttles was asked by a reporter Sunday if he’d dine on local seafood and he answered without hesitation. “I absolutely would,” he said. “There’s been a tremendous amount of testing done by NOAA [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] and the state agencies and the FDA and others. They’re not going to open these waters to either sport fishing or commercial fishing if it’s not safe to eat the fish.”
“I have a lot of confidence in those agencies and I trust their recommendations and I would eat their food–the seafood out of the Gulf, and I would feed it to my family,” added Suttles.
State public health officials have been coordinating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and NOAA on seafood safety. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg visited Louisiana last Friday to again emphasize the testing program and express confidence that the coordinated effort is keeping oil-tainted seafood out of the marketplace.