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... Shrimpers sail

- Shrimpers head out to sea - Buffalo News Editorial
   Shrimp season lives. Long live the shrimp—at least long enough to make it from sea to stomach.
   The Louisiana shrimp season opened this month to reports of a clean, plentiful catch. While the aftermath of the catastrophic Gulf of Mexico oil leak poses many reasons to be cautious yet, it’s heartening that the thousands of fishermen who rely on this work for their living have been able to get back Shrimpcoastguard to it. [La. shrimpers reporting clean 1st day catch - AP/Buffalo News 8/16/10] 
   It wasn’t that long ago that the leak, which spewed more than 200 million gallons of oil into the gulf, was thought to have crippled an industry and, indeed, an entire region that depends on the water for its livelihood. Fishermen who had spent weeks helping to sop up the oil British Petroleum spilled went back to work on Monday and came back with optimistic reports about the quality of their catch and the waters in which they were fishing. That’s great news, though it comes with an asterisk.
   Those who had hoped that the oil had magically and mysteriously vanished need to temper that unlikely circumstance. Government officials are optimistically — or disingenuously — claiming that half the oil is “completely gone from the system” and that most of the remainder “is degrading rapidly or is being removed from the beaches.”
   But new reports suggest that the oil spill is a bigger mess than the government claims, with much crude floating deep below the surface, perhaps settling in a critical undersea canyon off the Florida panhandle. Public and private agencies need to proceed as though the oil remains under water. It’s not time to declare victory and move on.
   But at least the fishermen are back at sea. It might not have gone that way. We could have had multiple calamities that put thousands of them out of work and driven tourism-based businesses into bankruptcy. Much work remains to be done, but this is a better moment than most of us had envisioned.

   Related:
- The lessons of the BP gusher - Dalls Morning News Editorial
   It's amazing: After months of national anguish, an oil slick the size of the state of Delaware suddenly is nowhere to be found.
- BP must pay to restore nation's confidence in Louisiana's seafood - New Orleans Times-Picayune Editorial
- Rush to judgment - Gainsville Sun Editorial
- Hold government accountable for moratorium's harm - Shreveport Times Editorial
- Open season - Panama City [Fla.] News Herald Editorial  

   Shrimp boats is a comin'


-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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