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Shrimpers Cross Fingers As They Head Into the Gulf

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ The first commercial shrimping season since the BP oil spill is getting under way in the waters off Louisiana.

And even if the shrimp are free of oil, it may be a challenge to get consumers to believe it. One seafood dealer says despite state and federal assurances that the seafood reaching the market is safe, demand dropped and prices fell about a month ago.

Perhaps the biggest fear among shrimpers is that some fisherman might try to sell oil-contaminated shrimp.

One shrimper says they’ve got enough trouble now without someone putting tainted product on the market. But he believes most of his fellow shrimpers know better.

Health officials will be putting seafood from the Gulf of Mexico under the microscope like never before. Fish, shrimp and other catches will be ground up and analyzed to hunt for minute traces of oil.

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