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Aug 10, 2010 7:25 PM by Shawn Kline

Shrimp season to start, but is it safe to eat?

Captain Cherie Broussard unloads her boat full of chilled shrimp. She and her crew just came back from Southwest Pass.
Her reputation and livlihood is on the line if any contaminated shrimp are found.

"People are scared," Broussard said. "If they feed it to their family, their family will get sick."

However, she says that's nothing more than just hype. Not only are shrimpers looking-out for any signs of oil or oddly smelling shrimp, government agencies are testing every day.

NOAA has a team of noses in the know- according to NOAA, they can detect the slightest hint of any contamination- whether from the oil itself or BP's chemical dispersant.

Mark Shirley of the Vermilion Parish AgCenter says there are no signs of oil contamination or dispersants... Even if there was, he says, the dispersants are less harmful than you'd think.

"I compare it to the dishwasher liquid you use in the sink," Shirley said. "(That) probably has a higher concentration of that dispersant."

Now, with the oil well plugged, shrimpers are struggling to find what customers are worried about.

"I ain't seen a shrimp yet with oil!" Wilson Acosta pointed-out.

Acosta has been shrimping for 57-years. He says this year has certainly been difficult but shrimp are smarter than you think.

"They moved away from the oil," Acosta says. "They went to deeper water and I can't get to them."

Acosta believes the shrimp migrated to deeper waters because of the oil but never came in direct contact with it.
He expects a comeback this season.

Cherie Broussard expects a big season as well- plenty of shrimp, oil-free.

"I ate them last night, the night before- there's nothing wrong with them." Broussard says, "I feed them to my family."

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