Oct. 29, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ – Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham told a Gulf community audience this week that BP is continuing to refuse to pay for a testing and publicity campaign that could help rescue the depressed market for Gulf seafood.

In May the state proposed a $173 million long term seafood safety and certification plan which would battle the widespread perception that Gulf seafood is no longer safe. BP has refused to back the plan, Barham said, even though it has reached seafood marketing and safety agreements with other states.

“I wish I could tell you that it’s been easy dealing with BP, but it’s not,” Barham said. “Deny, delay, defer. That’s the mode they’re in. All we’re asking them to do is what their commercials say they’re doing,” Barham said. “They say, ‘We’re going to be here for the long run. We’re going to make this right.’ “

According to the Louisiana Seafood Marketing and Promotion Board, seafood is a $3 billion industry for Louisiana. The state is the top U.S. provider of domestic shrimp and blue crabs.

Barham said many fishermen are reluctant to go back to fishing until the market recovers. So far this fishing season, shrimp, crab and oyster landings are half of what they were before the BP oil platform collapsed, pouring countless millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf.

For more seafood news, visit Seafood Industry Today (http://seafood.einnews.com), a seafood media monitoring service from EIN News.