Oil slick affects fish oil company operations

by Jeff Gelski
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HOUSTON — The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the resulting oil slick have affected operations at Houston-based Omega Protein Corp., which produces omega-3 fatty acid fish oil and specialty fish meal products. The company’s OmegaPure product may be used in food and beverage applications.

Effective April 30, Omega Protein will relocate its nine Moss Point, Miss., fishing vessels and three carry vessels to fishing grounds on the west side of the Mississippi river delta. The relocation may last up to four weeks. A company facility in Abbeville, La., also will be available if needed.

Omega Protein plans to offload fish from its Moss Point fleet with its carry vessels and process those fish in its usual manner at the Moss Point facility. If access to the Moss Point facility becomes restricted, the carry vessels will offload fish at company locations in Abbeville and Cameron, La., that are not affected by the oil spill.

“The company cannot predict what effect this response plan or oil spill will have on its fish catch or processing efficiency,” Omega Protein said.

Omega Protein pledged that, regardless of the oil spill’s impact, the quality of its fish meal and fish oil products will not be compromised. The company said it does not believe the Gulf Coast menhaden fishery will be affected by any contamination from the oil spill. Menhaden fish are a source of omega-3 fatty acid fish oil.
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