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More fishing limitations from oil spill

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Posted: May 12, 2010 2:30 AM by Matthew Wattigny
Source: La. DHH, LDWF, NOAA

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Topics: oyster, fishing, closures, fisheries, DHH, NOAA, Wildlife, Louisiana, oil spill, Gulf of Mexico

More fishing areas are off-limits in the wake of an oil spill now entering its third week.

Another oyster harvesting area closed, bringing the total to 11. Tuesday's order from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals included areas 8 and 9, but the former has been closed since Hurricane Katrina due to the presence of fecal coliform. These two areas are northwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish. A map of all current closures can be found here.

DHH employees continue to test oysters in unaffected areas, while department leaders remind consumers oysters are safe to eat if they are from unaffected areas or were harvested in affected areas prior to closing.

More federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico also closed to fishing. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expanded its closure west to Timbalier Island in Terrebonne Bay. The eastern border of the closure is off Florida's Choctawhatchee Bay. More details can be found on the map here. NOAA officials reiterated that more than 93 percent of the Gulf's federal waters remain open to fishing.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries also issued a reminder that its agents patrol closure zones daily by water and air. They're guarding against any oil-tainted seafood from reaching market. If an agent discovers fishing activity in a closed area, they will return the catch to the water and the violator could receive a citation. To report fishing activity in the no-fishing zones, call 1-800-442-2511 or 225-765-2441.

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