JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi marine officials report seafood caught locally is safe to eat, and Gov. Phil Bryant is backing that statement and encouraging people to eat local. The push comes as “no swimming” advisories are posted along our beaches from the algae bloom caused by the Bonnet Carré Spillway openings.
“I fish quite a bit. Sometimes I fish three or four days a week," said Moss Point resident James Miller. He said he’s been fishing most of his life.
“I’ve been eating down here like I said probably 20, 30 years." Miller said he also chooses seafood options on restaurant menus. The same goes for Randy Salmon.
“I’m having a shrimp po’boy and fries," Salmon said. “I usually go to places where we’ve eaten before.”
Miller and Salmon and dozens more enjoyed a seafood lunch at Bozo’s Thursday, and marine officials and Bryant say that’s exactly what you should be doing. A recent report by the Department of Marine Resources revealed no traces of toxins have been found in locally caught fish and seafood. That includes raw and cooked.
“I think people are more worried about getting in the water, swimming, or a cut when they’re fishing than eating the seafood," Salmon added.
Getting in the water on the Gulf Coast is still out of the question. Tests performed a month ago revealed low salinity levels that led to an algae bloom from the fresh water intrusion from the Bonnet Carré Spillway openings. That algae can cause toxins harmful to humans. Since then, officials have closed waters in South Mississippi, but the toxins aren’t in the fish tested offshore, according the DMR.
“I’ve always eaten seafood. There have been people say don’t eat oysters, and I’ve eaten them all my life, and I’ve never gotten sick. I just love seafood so I’m not going to quit eating it," Salmon said.
The Department of Marine Resources and the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality said they will continue testing our waters.