La. Shrimpers Report Clean First Day Catch

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Commercial shrimpers on the Gulf Coast reported catch to be plentiful and free of crude on Monday, the first day of the new shrimping season.

"We're not seeing any oil where I'm at. No tar balls, nothing," 53-year-old shrimper Brian Amos said.

The first commercial season since British Petroleum's disastrous spill opened with worries that the shrimp would be tainted by oil and that people wouldn't buy the seafood even if it were declared clean.
     
Louisiana ranks first in the nation in the production of shrimp, blue crab, crawfish, and oysters. Overall, the state's seafood industry generates an estimated $2.4 billion a year.
     
Meanwhile, some have questioned the government's claim that most of the oil from the recent spill has vanished.

"More than three-quarters of the oil is gone," White House energy adviser Carol Browner said earlier in August. "The vast majority of the oil is gone."

However, a team of scientists from the Georgia Sea Grant program who independently reviewed the White House data said close to 80 percent of the leaked crude remains.

"Where has all the oil gone? It hasn't gone anywhere. It still lurks in the deep," said University of Georgia marine scientist Chuck Hopkinson, who led the review.

"The bottom line is most of it is still out there," Hopkinson told The Associated Press. "There's nothing in the report to substantiate the 26 percent."

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