November 16, 2010

99.6 Percent Of Gulf Waters Open To Fishing Again

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Monday that almost all of U.S. federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are now open to fishing after the BP oil spill closed down waters.

The NOAA said it reopened 8,403 square miles of Gulf waters to commercial and recreational fishing, extending from the Louisiana state water line to due south of the Alabama and Florida state line.  The move has now opened 99.6 percent of federal waters.

NOAA said that it was the 11th opening since July 22 and that "no oil or sheen has been documented" since July 25.

The newly reopened area is about 10 miles from where the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, killing 11 workers.

NOAA said a battery of tests had found that levels of oil-related compounds are dispersants in marine life were "well below the levels of concern."

"This is the first reopening where we have added a supplemental test to detect dispersants in seafood, and all the samples passed," NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, who is also under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, told AFP news.

"This is yet another indication that our Gulf seafood is safe for consumption."

Over 88,000 square miles were once closed to fishing due to concerns over the devastating spill.


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