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Aug 7, 2010 3:05 AM

Gulf seafood industry tries to shake an oily image

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Those who harvest, process and sell the Gulf of Mexico's famous seafood are trying to convince wary consumers the catch is not only delicious, but safe.

Some fishing grounds have begun to open more than three months after BP's blown-out well began gushing crude, and tests show seafood caught there is safe to eat.

Many consumers remain suspicious, and that's bad news for the industry.

Keath Ladner owns Gulf Shores Sea Products in Bay St. Louis, Miss. He says he won't send his 70 boats out even though shrimp season is open in some spots.

He says that "nobody wants it. I can't sell it."

Ewell Smith is director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. He says many companies are importing seafood from elsewhere.

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