Louisiana Shrimpers Heading Back To Work In First Season Since Spill

New Orleans, La. – Ewell Smith is hard at work as executive director of the Louisiana Seafood and Promotion Marketing Board. He says shrimpers are facing a tough sell.

"The brand of Louisiana seafood has been beaten up pretty badly by this oil spill. And we're going to need some help, we're going to need some serious help in terms of dollars from BP to rebuild the brand of Louisiana seafood. It took Exxon -- after the Exxon Valdez, it took Alaska five years to rebuild their brand."

Government scientists are conducting an unprecedented amount of testing on Louisiana seafood in their search for traces of oil. U-S Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is marking opening day with meetings in Louisiana with fishermen and seafood industry representatives. The shrimping season runs through the end of the year.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.