Senator Shelby Makes Right Call Requesting Gulf Fishery Disaster Designation Addressing Oil Spill

May 19, 2010

Contacts: Laura Williamson, EDF communications, (512) 691-3447, (512) 828-1690 or
Heather Paffe, EDF Gulf and Southeast Oceans Program Director, (512) 691-3401, (512) 431-6854 or

(Austin – May 19, 2010) Environmental Defense Fund encourages U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke to fulfill U.S. Senator Shelby’s request for a Gulf of Mexico fisheries disaster declaration in the face of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

“The Gulf coast economy is closely tied to the well-being of its oceans,” said Heather Paffe, EDF’s Gulf and Southeast Ocean Program Director. “The uncontrolled oil spill severely threatens ecosystems and, by extension, the Gulf’s multi-billion dollar fishing and tourism industries.

“By granting Senator Shelby’s request, Secretary Locke can help provide much needed federal assistance to affected Gulf fishermen and fishing communities.”

EDF’s Oceans Program has been working in Gulf of Mexico fisheries for 15 years to ensure that people can enjoy fishing, run profitable and safe fishing businesses and eat fresh Gulf seafood, while conserving a healthy ecosystem for the future. EDF uses good science and proven market principles to build sustainable and healthy ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico.