GULF OF MEXICO — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR) and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), in coordination with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have ordered the reopening of all Mississippi territorial waters, including those south of the barrier islands, to all commercial and recreational blue crab fishing activities that were part of the precautionary oil spill closures.
This order takes effect at 12:01 p.m. today. All commercial and recreational oyster fishing will remain closed in the affected areas; sample results are pending.
The reopening is being implemented after the completion of extensive sampling and testing conducted by the MDMR, MDEQ, NOAA and FDA. The FDA has advised that, following extensive sensory testing and chemical analysis, tissue samples tested indicate that crabs from these previously closed areas south of the barrier islands are safe for consumption. Testing for crab tissues includes specimens of special interest, such as those with dark gills, brought to DMR’s attention by concerned fishermen and the public; all of these samples have been determined to be safe for consumption, as well.
All other regulations specific to each particular fishery will remain in full force and effect.