BATON ROUGE—The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals announced today the partial reopening of oyster harvesting areas 14, 15 and 17 after working with officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and other state and federal partners.
The harvesting areas are west of the Mississippi River in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. The harvesting areas were closed as a precaution in anticipation of possible oil intrusion.
DHH Interim Secretary Tony Keck and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the order on September 7, 2010 to partially reopen areas 14, 15 and 17 along the lines previously established by concurring openings from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The reopening took effect at sunrise today, September 8.
In addition to regular testing schedules, DHH is conducting enhanced testing of oyster meat taken from the closed beds to monitor the presence of oil. Oysters being harvested in areas open for harvesting have been deemed safe by DHH.
Areas 2, 3, 8, 11, through 13, portions of areas 14, 15 and 17 south of the current reopening, and 23 remain closed. In addition, areas 9, 10, 19 and 21 remain partially closed. All other areas are open.
The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or an oil sheen.
For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.