Reporter's Notebook From The Gulf - Visit From The Vice President
From The Outdoor Wire
"We want one single standard so you don't have to worry about where you fish, when you can fish," Vice President Joe Biden told Gulf residents yesterday, "Bottom line is, we want to get fishermen back out on the water as soon as possible after the oil has been removed."
To that end, a plan with the US Food and Drug Administration, NOAA, and the EPA is in the works that will create a roadmap for sampling the state and federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and getting them re-opened for fishing.
"No single agency could adequately ensure the safety of seafood coming from the Gulf following this tragedy, but in working together, we can be sure that tainted waters are closed as appropriate, contaminated seafood is not allowed to make it to market, and that closed waters can be reopened to fishing as soon as is safe," said Eric Schwaab, NOAA assistant administrator for fisheries, in a release issued after Biden's visit.
At this point, fish have tested at levels officials feel are safe "well below any level of concern for oil-based contamination" - but fisheries restrictions remain in place.
B-P has announced it is on track for the August intersection of the Deepwater Horizon well by two new wells; the company also says it is bringing a third containment ship on-site to add an additional 20,000-25,000 barrels of daily collection capabilities.
Skimmers, sidelined by rough seas Monday and Tuesday, are scheduled to be back on the job this morning.
Another Mississippi beach, however, was facing closures. Ocean Springs Mayor Connie Moran said the closure was due to the presence of "minimal tar balls from penny to half-a-dollar size."
Along the majority of the Gulf beaches, however, workers find themselves standing by in the event of oil beginning to come ashore.
Photo from US Fish & Wildlife Service
Continue to monitor the Gulf Oil Spill here on OutdoorChannel.com