Oil Spill

IN PRECAUTIONARY MOVE, L.D.W.F. AND D.H.H. ANNOUNCE CLOSURES DUE TO OIL SPILL

Release Date: 04/30/2010

The Louisiana departments of Health and Hospitals, and Wildlife and Fisheries, announced today they will be closing select fishing areas and oyster harvesting beds as a precautionary response to the oil spill in the Gulf.

Fishing Closures

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in Zone 1, excluding the coastal boundaries of Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurapas.  This closure will take place at 6 p.m. this evening.  The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident has resulted in a significant release of oil into the offshore waters of southeast Louisiana. Oil has the potential to impact fish and other aquatic life in portions of Louisiana's coastal waters. 

"I signed this emergency closure today as a proactive effort to prevent any oil-tainted fish, shrimp or crab from being caught and thus consumed," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "Now is the time to act as we see what the impacts may be to Louisiana's fragile ecosystems."

Oyster Harvesting Closures

DHH is closing molluscan shellfish harvesting areas 2 through 7 today as a precaution.  Areas 2 through 7 are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard.

DHH Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order, which will take effect at sunset today, Friday, April 30, 2010.

Since the explosion at the BP global exploration site and resulting leak, officials from DHH's Office of Public Health Molluscan Shellfish Program have been closely monitoring the situation and continuing daily tests of the 8-million acre Louisiana shoreline.

As officials continue to monitor the remaining unaffected oyster beds west of the Mississippi River, DHH is working closely with LDWF, the state's oyster harvesters and the Louisiana Oyster Task Force to ensure the safety of oysters taken from areas currently not affected by the spill. All oysters taken prior to closure of the affected beds are safe to eat.

"We have an extensive and well-tested program of monitoring the safety of oysters harvested in Louisiana," Sec. Levine said. "We have been monitoring the oysters in the affected areas before the closures and will use those tests as a baseline to ensure long-term safety of the oysters when this incident ends."

 

Dr. Guidry said the department's team continues to conduct regular monitoring of the unaffected areas.

 

"Oysters that are still coming out of the many unaffected beds across the Louisiana coast are being watched closely," Dr. Guidry said. "All of the beds that remain open are safe."

Officials with both agencies are working closely with 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.

To learn more about DHH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. To learn more about LDWF, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

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L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES PARTIAL CLOSURE OF SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON IN ZONE 1

Release Date: 04/29/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced that the special shrimp season will close at 6 a.m., Friday, April 30 in the portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1 south of the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.  The special shrimp season in the remaining portion of Zone 1 shall remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.

The opening dates for the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 6 meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.

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

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SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON OPENS IN PORTIONS OF BRETON AND CHANDELEUR SOUNDS

Release Date: 04/29/2010


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Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham,  announced that a special shrimp season will open at 6:00 p.m., April 28, 2010 in that portion of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds known as the double-rig line as described in LA R.S.56:495.1.  These waters will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.


The opening dates for the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 6 meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.


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

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SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON OPENS IN ZONE 2 AND PORTION OF ZONE 1

Release Date: 04/29/2010

Today, April 29, at noon, LDWF Secretary Barham will open in Shrimp Management Zone 2 including state outside waters between Freshwater Bayou Canal and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel and that portion of Zone 1 north of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude, with the exclusion of the area south of 29 degrees, 30 minutes (or the mouth of the Mississippi River/Mississippi Delta area).  These waters will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.

Unseasonably colder temperatures and wet winter conditions have delayed brown shrimp recruitment and growth in inshore waters; however, samples collected by LDWF Office of Fisheries biologists have indicated the presence of significant numbers of marketable size, over-wintering white shrimp in these waters. In consideration of the potential threat to these resources posed by the proximity of an offshore oil spill, this special season should provide fishermen with added economic opportunity through the harvest and sale of over-wintering white shrimp.

It is important to stress that Louisiana seafood is safe to eat.  The state continues to work closely with LDWF field biologists and DHH to ensure all seafood harvested are safe for consumer consumption.    

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

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