The Mobile Press register reports that scientists have conflicting reports on their samples of red snapper caught in the Gulf.
Researchers from the University of South Alabama and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab have caught and examined about 300 red snapper and trigger fish per month since the start of the BP oil spill. The investigation also included detailed internal examinations of 3000 fish, surveying their organs for signs of contamination or disfigurement. No external lesions were found on any fish.
However, Louisiana State University scientist Jim Cowan reports he has more than 100 fish carcasses infected with a bacteria that causes black lesions. Most of the samples were supplied by commercial fishermen, not scientists, which complicates efforts to understand how widespread the infections are. He said that infected snapper, redfish and sheepshead have been caught.
On Wednesday, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said all the state’s samples have found no problems with area fish.