EINNEWS, November 24— NOAA officials, who only weeks ago declared Gulf of Mexico safe to eat, are taking very seriously the haul of oily red shrimp brought up by a shrimp boat off the coast of Alabama.

NOAA scientists are testing the oil to see if it came from the Deepwater Horizon, the BP offshore drilling platform that exploded and sunk earlier in the year, spilling 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.

The question facing NOAA, and the FDA and other federal and state agencies is whether they have to shut down the waters from fishing once again.

The oily shrimp were hauled aboard the deck of the boat “Our Mother” fishing out of Bon Secour, Alabama. The shrimp were caught in 1300 feet of water about 40 miles north of the Deepwater Horizon site in waters reopened by NOAA just last week.

The “Our Mother” is one of only three boats in Mobile and Baldwin counties that are rigged to fish for the deep water royal reds.

While there have been reports in Mississippi and Louisiana of shrimpers bringing up tar balls in their nets, this is the first report involving an Alabama boat.

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