“People had been watching a lot of TV, and one of the ladies said, you know my granddaughter’s granddaughter will never see a brown pelican again, and those are the types of things that get out there.”
Logan Respess is Associate Director and Extension Program Leader of Sea Grant Texas.
“We’ve had very large spills in the Gulf of Mexico, but history shows us that it’s not decades to recover, it’s years to recover. All of that is not making it to the surface, all of that is not making it to shore. A lot of it is dissolved, evaporated, weathered, broken down by bacteria.”
To understand the potential impact to the shrimp industry, you need to look a shrimps’ life cycle.
“The adults move out of the marshes and they move out into the bay and they actually move out into the Gulf of Mexico and they spawn off shore and those eggs are carried by currents. They actually hatch off shore. They go back up into the marsh grasses, and that’s where they grow up, and become juveniles, and then they move back out.”
The hope is that by the time young shrimp move into the marshes on the Texas coastline, the oil will no longer be an issue.
“Our concern is what happens to next year’s crop, and hopefully that oil will have broken down and degraded enough that we won’t have the impacts next year.”
And what about seafood currently being harvested from the Gulf?
“We have not seen any contaminated seafood make it to the marketplace. Not only is the area around the oil closed, if there’s a sheen they close that area around where the oil was, but then they also put a buffer zone of several miles past where that sheen was located.”
The safety of our food supply is the top priority.
“They’re also increasing the number of samples they’re taking on seafood out in the Gulf to see if there’s been any contamination of it from those areas. They haven’t found any.”
So while there’s nothing positive about the oil spill, with a little help from Mother Nature, the hope is that the Texas coast will be back to normal sooner than later. I’m Shel Winkley, taking a look at the Texas shrimp industry, From The Ground Up.