BATON ROUGE—More oyster harvest areas closed as a result of the Gulf oil spill have been cleared to reopen. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the reopening of oyster harvesting areas 9 and 10 after working with officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other state and federal partners.
Harvest areas 9 and 10 were originally closed on May 11. Both of these harvest areas are west of the Mississippi river and in Plaquemines Parish. These harvesting areas were closed as a precaution in anticipation of possible oil intrusion.
DHH Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the order today to reopen areas 9 and 10 effective one half hour prior to official sunrise December 7.
“Due to the hard work and perseverance of DHH Molluscan Shellfish employees and our partners in the industry, we are nearly back to pre-spill operation”, said Greenstein. “Our seafood is thoroughly tested and safe to eat, so I encourage everyone to put oyster dressing on the menu this holiday season.”
Area 12 is the only harvest area which remains partially closed due to the Gulf oil spill. It is in Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes, and is one of the hardest hit areas. Cleanup of this area continues. Area 8, in Plaquemines Parish, was closed prior to the oil spill due to high fecal coliform counts. DHH does not anticipate reopening Area 8 in the near future.
The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or oil sheen.
The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH’s blog at www.myhealthla.org, Twitter at http://twitter.com/La_Health_Dept and search for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals on Facebook.