NOAA Extends Fishing Closed Area to Portion of Loop Current as Precaution

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 18, 2010

Follow up to postings on the Gulf Coast oil spill, this news release: “NOAA has extended the boundaries of the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico into the northern portion of the loop current as a precautionary measure to ensure that seafood from the Gulf will remain safe for consumers. Though the latest analysis shows that the bulk of the oil remains dozens of miles from the loop current, the new boundaries address the possibility that a tendril of light oil has entered or will enter the loop current. The closed area now represents 45,728 square miles, which is slightly less than 19 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. This leaves more than 81 percent of Gulf federal waters—or nearly 195,000 square miles—still available for fishing. Details can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/. The newly closed area is more than 150 miles from the nearest port and primarily in deep water used by pelagic longline fisheries that target highly migratory species, such as tuna and swordfish. Coastal fisheries, such as grouper, snapper and shrimp, will not be affected by the expansion of the closed area.”

  • See also via WSJ.com – Officials Fear Slick Will Flow Up Coast; graphics covering how the spill happened, what’s being done to stop it, and the impact on the region; and Disaster Plans Lacking at Deep Rigs
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