Some Ala. waters reopen after Gulf oil spill

MONTGOMERY, AL - Alabama state waters west of the Dauphin Island Bridge and north of Dauphin Island that were closed as a precautionary measure due to the Deepwater Horizon disaster were reopened for recreational and commercial fishing Monday. All areas in Mississippi Sound not permanently closed also reopened for shrimping at that time.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the conditions for reopening specified in the agreed upon reopening protocol have been met for finfish and shrimp in the area designated in the July 26, 2010, Alabama Marine Resources Division proposal (Mississippi Sound). According to the FDA, such seafood should pose no food safety risk associated with contamination from the Deepwater Horizon explosion, fire and oil spill.

Sensory evaluation of the 22 finfish and shrimp samples for odors indicative of contamination was conducted on August 2-3, 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 (PAH) analysis. All samples were analyzed using the LC Fluorescence method. The chemical analyses were performed on August 4-5, 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, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the FDA.

The waters will remain closed to the harvest of oysters and crabs.

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.  To learn more about ADCNR, visit .

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources