BP to pay $20M to ensure seafood safety
BP will pay $20 million over the next three years to help pay for enhanced seafood inspections and marketing efforts aimed at restoring public confidence in the safety of Gulf of Mexico seafood.
The agreement comes three months after Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson sent a letter to BP President Bob Dudley.
The letter detailed the additional costs Bronson’s department is expected to face in its effort to make sure seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe to eat after the April 20 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig.
Bronson outlined a food safety plan that detailed equipment needed and tests that have to be conducted to ensure that no lingering oil residues or chemical dispersants are present on the dozens of species of Gulf seafood harvested in Florida, including shrimp, crabs, oysters and dozens of species of finfish.
Initially, Bronson requested $59 million, but that was before the oil spill was capped in July.
Florida has an estimated 5,300 commercial fishermen who harvest about 84 million pounds of seafood and fishery products a year with a dock value of about $170 million. An additional 1,400 Florida-based businesses buy, sell or process seafood.