National article continues debate on gulf seafood

By Rebecca Powers – bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - An article in a national publication with 6.6 million readers said, "Avoid all seafood from the Gulf because of oil contamination."

It actually suggests readers buy seafood from Asia instead. But numerous scientists have tested our local seafood and given it an absolute clean bill of health.

We spoke to a man who has served seafood from the Gulf all his life. He said "hype" like this is not only misleading but wrong.

Mary Mahoney's in Biloxi has been serving fresh gulf seafood since 1964. Bobby Mahoney said it's wrong for the national media to say the oil has tainted our seafood. Like an article in "Weight Watchers" magazine where the writer said avoid all "Gulf seafood" fresh or frozen.

Bobby Mahoney said, "I don't know who is this guy to be saying this. You know what I mean? I saw Dr. Walker on T. V. who said the health department said it was all right, and all the big agencies have said it's all right. No big agencies has come out and said avoid it."

They certainly aren't avoiding it in the Mahoney kitchen. Their signature Oyster soup is still flowing by the gallons and their fresh seafood salads continue to be a lunchtime favorite.

Like the George salad at Mahoney's, it's named for Bobby's Yugoslavian cousin Giorgio. He said they have 100 years of restaurant experience between the two of them. He knows good seafood when he sees it. He had just gotten in an 80 pound tuna from the Gulf.

The only affect the oil spill has had here is the prices. They have to pay for the catch.

Mahoney said, "Shrimp's probably up about 30, 40 percent. Crab meat is up 30 or 40 percent."

And when you spend $40,000 a month on those two items alone, that adds up. Bobby Mahoney said the best thing we can all do is trust the scientists who test the seafood for safety, and quit making an issue where there is none.

"I don't even like to talk about it. 'Cause you know when you start talking about it, people just cause you're talking about it, they think it's bad," Mahoney said. "But that gulf out there is pretty big and mother nature you know, she'll take care of herself."

Of the 6.6 million subscribers to "Weight Watchers Magazine", 77 percent are women of the average age of 46 who earn an of average income of $71,000 a year.

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