Gulf of Mexico seafood’s good name has been sullied, but
many chefs say it’s safe, and their customers agree.
By Clare Leschin-Hoar
IN APRIL, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill
disaster, the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
announced that it was reopening the last
section of the 1,041 miles of Gulf waters
immediately surrounding the Deepwater
Horizon wellhead to commercial and
newspaper columns and TV airtime. But
well after that anniversary marker, what
remains heavy on the minds of Gulf
residents and their fishing community is
the seafood’s lingering black eye.
The news, and plenty of “where we
are now” anniversary coverage, filled
As recently as December, the New
Orleans-based Louisiana Seafood
Promotion & Marketing Board’s survey
found that 71% of U.S. consumers still
harbored a level of concern about the
safety of consuming Gulf seafood.