"US spill chief Thad Allen failed Thursday to reassure desperate fishermen about their Gulf of Mexico oil clean-up jobs, while BP began the legal wrangling in a massive civil trial. As engineers prepared next week's vital operations to permanently kill the capped BP well, Allen met with parish presidents and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal in New Orleans to discuss how to safeguard local jobs going forward."
Fish & Fisheries
"Fish caught in a wide area of the gulf near Florida are safe to eat, said federal officials Thursday as they allowed commercial and recreational fishing boats back into part of the Gulf of Mexico that had been off-limits due to the massive BP oil spill."
"A proposal to ban lobster fishing over a vast stretch of the East Coast was killed Thursday after lobstermen said it would do 'almost biblical' damage to the industry."
The release of large amounts of Mississippi River freshwater in an attempt to push oil back out to sea has backfired. The lower salinity is killing the oysters it was meant to save.
"Five Great Lakes states filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday to try to block Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan, the third attempt to seek the closing of Chicago-area shipping locks through the court system."
"The Delaware River Basin Commission hasn't heard the last word on natural gas drilling in northeast Pennsylvania. It agreed last week to hold further hearings there on its drilling moratorium."
"New Jersey has seriously neglected patrolling its shellfish grounds for years, with inadequate enforcement on more than two-thirds of its waters, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
The BP oil spill's damage to the oyster industry is not just to the oystermen themselves, but to a whole chain of regional businesses that depend on them.
"Before a fillet of grouper, fresh oyster or piece of shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico lands in the grocery seafood aisle, state and federal agencies have weighed in on its safety. ... However, no one is testing seafood to tell whether it has absorbed the toxic compounds found in the nearly 1.8 million gallons of dispersants BP has poured into the water to break up the oil."
"They may not be the 500-pound 'Frankenfish' that some researchers were talking about 10 years ago, but a Massachusetts company says it's on the verge of receiving federal approval to market a quick-growing Atlantic salmon that's been genetically modified with help from a Pacific Chinook salmon."