Omega still challenged by oil slick

MOSS POINT — Omega Protein Corporation has updated the status of effects the oil spill caused by the Deepwater Horizon rig has had on the company’s fishing operation in the Gulf of Mexico.

As previously announced, the oil slick has had an adverse effect on the company’s ability to operate in the fishing grounds east of the Mississippi River Delta near its Moss Point facility. Regulators have closed this area to commercial fishing until at least May 17. In addition, on May 9 the Louisiana Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (LDWF) announced additional areas closed to commercial fishing, extending from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the eastern portion of Atchafalaya Bay at Point au Fer, Louisiana.

As previously announced, in response to the spill, Omega relocated its Moss Point fishing fleet to fishing grounds on the west side of the Mississippi River Delta. Docking and re-supply for the Moss Point fleet have been relocated to the company-owned facility at Morgan City, La. That fleet continues to process fish at Moss Point as well as at the company’s other two Louisiana facilities in Abbeville and Cameron.

Currently, the company believes that the new May 9 LDWF restrictions will not materially affect its Morgan City operations. However, the company is developing an additional contingency response plan to move its vessels from Morgan City farther west to its Abbeville and Cameron facilities should the May 9 restrictions begin to impact the company’s fish catch or should further restrictions be implemented.

The oil spill had not had a material adverse effect on the volume of company’s fish catch as of May 9, 2010.

Omaega said it does not have reason to believe that the health of the Gulf Coast menhaden resource will be affected by any contamination from the oil spill, and is confident that its stringent quality control protocols will continue to ensure the high quality of its products.

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