With media headlines announcing fishing closures along the Gulf of Mexico due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill; it's understandable that many consumers have concerns about buying shrimp and seafood. Fortunately in Texas, our current harvest of shrimp and seafood is safe to eat.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), no oil from the Deepwater Horizon incident has entered Texas waters. In fact, the National Fisheries Institute says if any part of the Gulf is positioned to avoid contamination thanks to favorable tides, it's the Texas coastal area. As nature continues to keep Texas waters and seafood safe from oil, NOAA keeps a close eye on the situation and stands ready to close waters to fishing if and when needed.
The current harvest of Texas shrimp and seafood available in grocery stores and restaurants was harvested before the spill. And with the numerous regulatory safeguards and inspection functions monitoring our food supply, consumers should feel confident that no contaminated shrimp and seafood will enter the marketplace.
Here at the Texas Department of Agriculture, we are working closely with the Texas seafood industry and other state agencies to ensure the Deepwater Horizon incident does not compromise consumer safety. Meanwhile, I encourage you to enjoy with confidence our delicious Texas shrimp and seafood. For a list of Texas shrimp and seafood suppliers, visit http://www.texasagriculture.gov/ and click on GO TEXAN Programs.