BP oil spill: fishing closure increases to 36%

22 Jun 2010
Ships and drilling rigs surround the Discoverer Enterprise as it continues to recover oil from the Deepwater Horizon drill site June 15, 2010. (Photo: US Coast Guard)

Ships and drilling rigs surround the Discoverer Enterprise as it continues to recover oil from the Deepwater Horizon drill site June 15, 2010. (Photo: US Coast Guard)

The NOAA has again had to modify the commercial and recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected areas of the Gulf of Mexico.

The closure measures 86,985 square miles (225,290 square km) and covers about 36% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone.

NOAA's revision to the closure became effective at 6pm (EST) on 21 June, 2010. All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area; however, transit through the area is allowed.

The last closed area modification was 16 June, when 80,806 square miles were closed to fishing, or slightly more than 33% of federal waters of the Gulf. 

Modelling and mapping the actual and projected spill area is not an exact science. Therefore, the NOAA Fisheries Service has strongly advised fishermen not to fish in areas where oil or oil sheens (very thin layers of floating oil) are present, even if those areas are not currently closed to fishing.

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