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LDWF MODIFIES CLOSURES IN PORTION OF TERRITORIAL SEAS BELOW EMPIRE TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING

Release Date: 05/19/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following additional closure of a portion of the territorial sea, west of the Mississippi River in lower Plaquemines Parish to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective tomorrow, May 20, 2010, at sunrise. These modifications have no impact on fishing in the Grand Isle area.

Territorial Sea Closure

The state's territorial seas seaward of the inside-outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Chaland Pass at 89 degrees 44 minutes 06.3 seconds west longitude, eastward to the mouth of Red Pass at 89 degrees 28 minutes 13.4 seconds west longitude.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's Coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

All other closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

Editors: For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-158 

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LDWF and DHH Issue Additional Closures to Fishing and Oyster Harvesting Areas in the Territorial Seas near Marsh Island Due to Reports of Oil

Release Date: 05/18/2010

Officials Continue Aggressive Testing; Seafood on the Market Safe

The Louisiana departments of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the closure of recreational and commercial fishing activities, and oyster harvesting  near Marsh Island and in harvesting bed Area 28 due to confirmed reports of oil associated with the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective sunset today, May 18, 2010, due to confirmed reports of oil. LDWF staff documented oil on the Marsh Island beach, east of Southwest Pass.

Territorial Sea Closure

All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from South Point of Marsh Island at 91 degrees 45 minutes 48 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of Freshwater Bayou at 92 degrees 18 minutes 27 seconds west longitude.

All other closures remain in place.  For a map detailing these closures click here. http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/fishing-closure.jpg

Oyster Harvesting Closure

DHH Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order for Area 28, which will take effect at sunset today, Tuesday, May 18. Area 28, which is south of Vermillion Bay, is west of the Mississippi River in Iberia Parish.

Areas 2 through 4, 8, 14, 15 and 17 also are closed. Areas 5, 6, 7, 9 and 13 were recently reopened.

Closures will remain in effect until officials have determined that environmental conditions are within the requirements specified by the National Shellfish Sanitation Program.

Additional Testing

LDWF and DHH continue to work together to assess closures in order to maintain the safety of Louisiana seafood. 

DHH officials have also been working closely with other local, state and federal agencies to monitor the oil plume that continues to grow off of the Louisiana coastline for its potential impacts on oyster harvesting areas. Meanwhile, employees with DHH's Office of Public Health Molluscan Shellfish Program have continued regular testing of 8 million acres of coastal waters along the Louisiana shoreline.

In addition, DHH scientists and engineers are conducting enhanced testing of oyster meat taken from the closed beds to monitor the presence of oil, called hydrocarbon testing. Additional testing is also being conducted in unaffected oyster beds. These tests will create a baseline, which will be used to ensure the safety of oysters once the incident clears in order to reopen beds. Oysters being harvested in open areas are considered safe.

The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or an oil sheen.

Officials with LDWF and DHH are working closely the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the situation develops. For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect at www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter at #GOHSEP. Also find more about DHH at www.dhh.louisiana.gov.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-156

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LDWF ANNOUNCES RE-OPENING OF PORTION OF INSHORE AREA AND TERRITORIAL SEA TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING IN LOWER TERREBONNE PARISH

Release Date: 05/16/2010

Effective Immediately  5/16/10

After the test results showed that the oily substance on the May 14, 2010 catch of a fishing vessel was not related to the Deepwater Horizon spill, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following openings to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective immediately, May 16, 2010. Now that LDWF has confirmed the reported contamination had no connection to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a new investigation will begin to determine how the petroleum product came in contact with the catch.

Inshore Opening

Inshore waters south of 29 degrees 19 minutes 59 seconds north latitude and north of 29 degrees 10 minutes 16 seconds north latitude and between 91 degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude at Point au Fer to longitude 90 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds west longitude in the vicinity of Cocodrie.

Territorial Sea Opening

The state's territorial seas from Point au Fer eastward to 91 degrees west longitude.

Please note that these areas are open to both recreational and commercial fishing except in those areas closed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to oyster harvesting.

The Secretary's actions today re-open the additional water bodies that were closed by the May 15, 2010 emergency action in response to the report of oiled seafood catch.  Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas.  Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily.  As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened. 

"Our department remains on high-alert as we make daily assessments of state water ways," said Secretary Robert Barham.  "I want people to be out there fishing, this is the Sportsman's Paradise, but at the same time the safety of our seafood must be a top priority."

LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to conduct coast-wide sampling of fish, crabs and shrimp, to ensure all seafood harvested from the Gulf is a safe, quality product.  To date, all test results of seafood sampled from Louisiana have been negative for hydrocarbons. 

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-155

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LDWF EXPANDS RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING CLOSURES IN LOWER TERREBONNE BOTH INSHORE AND IN THE TERRITORIAL SEAS BECAUSE OF CONFIRMED REPORTS OF OIL EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY

Release Date: 05/15/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective immediately, today May 15, 2010, due to confirmed reports of oil in this area. The oil will have to be further analyzed to confirm it is connected to the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Oiled trawls and boats were reported to LDWF today by a local shrimp harvester in Terrebonne parish. Upon receiving the coordinates and verifying the oiled areas, Secretary Barham made the decision to close the following areas to commercial and recreational fishing effective immediately, today, May 15, 2010.

Inshore Closure

 *   Inshore waters south of 29 degrees 19 minutes 59 seconds north latitude between 91  degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude  at  Point au Fer  to longitude  90 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds west longitude in the vicinity of Cocodrie.

Territorial Sea Closure

 *   All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Pointe au Fer Island at 91 degrees 21 minutes 09 seconds west longitude eastward to 91 degrees west longitude.

LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospital (DHH) to conduct tissue-sample analysis in an effort to guarantee the safety of Louisianas seafood.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or  225-765-2335 or 225-610-2363.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

2010-154

Documents: 

LDWF ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL OPENINGS OF INSHORE AREAS AND TERRITORIAL SEA TO RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHING

Release Date: 05/14/2010


Effective at Sunrise 5/15/10

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following openings to recreational and commercial fishing activities effective tomorrow, May 15, 2010 at sunrise.

Inshore Openings

The inshore area of Zone 1 from the Mississippi border to the south pass of the Mississippi River with the exception of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line and the area south and east of Baptiste Collette Bayou this area in not open to shrimping.

The inshore area from near Sandy Point in Plaquemines Parish at 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds eastward to the Mississippi River, except the waters that are east and south of Red Pass channel which runs from Venice to the Gulf of Mexico.

Territorial Sea Openings

The state's territorial seas from Point au Fer eastward to 91 degrees west longitude.

The states territorial seas from 89 degrees 30 minutes 12 seconds west longitude, eastward to the mouth of Red Pass at  89 degrees 28 minutes 13.4 seconds west longitude.

Please note that these areas are open to both recreational and commercial fishing except in those areas closed by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to oyster harvesting.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH to conduct tissue-sample analysis in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's Coast and guarantee a the safety of Louisianas seafood.

All other closures remain in place.

Click here to view a map of open and closed areas.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363.

2010-152

Documents: 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Announces Further Recreational and Commercial Fishing Closure due to Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Release Date: 05/09/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today it will be closing recreational and commercial fishing in further areas of state waters as a precautionary response to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

This action expands the previously announced emergency commercial and recreational fishing closure to include an area of the state's territorial sea west of the Mississippi River to Point au Fer and the beaches that border any of the closed areas.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in the state territorial seas, and the bordering beaches, extending from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the eastern portion of Atchafalaya Bay at Point au Fer at 91 degrees 20 minutes 44 seconds west longitude.  This closure will take place at 6 pm, tonight, May 9, 2010.

The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident has resulted in a significant release of oil into the offshore waters of Louisiana and the area of impact is expanding. Oil has the potential to impact fish and other aquatic life in portions of Louisiana's coastal waters.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is working closely with the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Hospitals and the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the situation unfolds. Updates on any further closures or changes in the status of areas closed will be posted at emergency.louisiana.gov.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep

2010-140

L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE CHANGES TO THE LOUISIANA SHRIMP SEASON

Release Date: 05/08/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that the shrimp season in the territorial seas of the central coast of Louisiana - from Four  Bayou Pass to Freshwater Bayou  -- closes effective sunset, Saturday, May 8, 2010.

Effective with this action, all outside territorial waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to Freshwater Bayou are closed to shrimp harvesting.

Secretary Barham also announced that LDWF will delay the opening of the inshore shrimp season in Zone 2 until further notice.

Secretary Barham also announced that the inshore waters of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay to the Louisiana/Texas state line are opened at sunset, Saturday, May 8, 2010.

Secretary Barham has made these decisions based on the potential effects from the Gulf oil spill and under the authority granted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

 For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225-610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

2010-139

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