NOAA Fisheries Service today has modified the boundaries of the closed fishing area to coincide with the current extent of oil pollution stemming from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and subsequent spill.
All commercial and recreational fishing, including catch and release, is prohibited in the closed area that is slightly less than 4.5 percent of the Gulf of Mexico federal waters. State waters, including the Mississippi Sound and 3 miles south of the barrier islands, are not affected by the closure.
This action temporarily closes the area bound by the following coordinates to all fishing: From the point where 29o50' N. lat. intersects with the 3 nautical mile Louisiana state boundary; proceeding easterly to the point 29o50' N. lat. and 87o28' W. long.; thence, southeasterly to the point 29o20' N. lat. and 86o55' W. long.; thence, southwesterly to the point 28o18' N. lat. and 87o44' W. long.; thence, northwesterly to the point 28o30' N. lat. and 89o W. long.; thence, northwesterly to the point where 28o52' N. lat. intersects with the 3 nautical mile Louisiana state boundary; thence along the seaward limit of Louisiana’s waters.
The closure is in effect for 10 days, beginning today at 12:01 a.m. to May 17, unless conditions prompt NOAA to end it sooner. NOAA Fisheries Service will continue to monitor and evaluate the oil spill and its impact on the Gulf of Mexico fisheries and will take action as needed to extend or reduce the closed area.
Read more about this story in Saturday's Sun Herald.