Scientists are still years away from determining the full impact of the BP oil disaster. Are fears of tainted fish and shellfish justified?
At the Monterey Bay Aquarium's annual Cooking for Solutions Sustainable Foods Institute last week, marine scientists, experts from environmental groups, and members of the fishing community—who rarely agree on anything—answered that question with a unanimous "yes."
"There is still a lot of science to be done, but it seems like we dodged a bullet. We got lucky," said Tim Fitzgerald of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Fitzgerald, who created EDF's SeafoodSafe program to monitor chemical contamination in fish, has spent much of the last year focusing on the Gulf.
"I don't think we will see major problems with contaminants in Gulf Seafood," he said. "But we're not taking anything for granted. We're continuing to work with the fishing industry to look for the possibility of contamination from dispersants just to make sure."
George Crozier has been executive director of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in Alabama since 1979, a position that has earned him the status of the grand old man of Gulf research. "The resiliency of the Gulf ecosystem surprised us," he said.