Oil Spill

LDWF AMENDS FISHING CLOSURES IN PORTION OF BARATARIA BASIN

Release Date: 06/05/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following action in a portion of the Barataria Basin south of Empire, LA in Plaquemines Parish effective at sunset today, June 6, due to confirmed reports of oil in the area.

The portion of state inside waters north of the inside/outside shrimp line and south of the Mississippi River from the southern shoreline of Red Pass at 89 degrees 28 minutes 13.4 seconds north latitude westward to the western shoreline of the Empire Canal, closes to recreational and commercial fishing effective sunset today, June 6. 

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.

All other closures remain in place.

For more information please contact Marianne Burke, LDWF Public Information Director at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917

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.

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Oiled Impacted Birds Released at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 06/03/2010



Officials from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Thursday released back into the wild two birds rescued from oil impacted marshes along the Louisiana coast.


One Least Bittern and a single Cattle Egret, treated at the Fort Jackson rehabilitation facility in Buras, La., were released at Sherburne Wildlife Management Area (WMA) on the northern edge of the Atchafalaya Basin. The release of these oil impacted birds brings the total to 24 birds rehabilitated in Louisiana and set free following treatment in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident. 


The rehabilitation facility is operated by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center and the International Bird Rescue and Research Center.  


Sherburne WMA was chosen for the release due to the quality of habitat available for these species and the central location of the WMA in the state. The public land is located in the Morganza Flood way system of the Atchafalaya Basin and is situated in the lower and upper portions of Pointe Coupee, St. Martin, and Iberville Parishes respectively. LDWF owns 11,780 acres, the USFWS owns 15,220 acres and the remaining 17,000 acres is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The area is managed as one unit by LDWF.


View photos of the release at http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill/gallery.


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. View photos in from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep


For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-5115.


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LDWF Rescues 35 Oiled Brown Pelicans in Grand Isle Area

Release Date: 06/03/2010



Biologists from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries responded to 60 calls reporting oiled birds in and around Grand Isle Thursday June 3, resulting in the successful location and capture of 35 brown pelicans and 15 gulls.  One pelican, dubbed the "Governor's bird," was discovered by Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff as he toured the area.


Other rescue teams retrieved 10 additional oiled birds Thursday, including pelicans and a tern. All of the birds were collected from areas in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill impact zone.


LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said "I am pleased that we were able to rescue so many birds, including our state bird, the brown pelican.  But I'm afraid that our work has just started."


Found throughout the affected portions of Louisiana, 324 birds have been processed through the wildlife rehabilitation triage center set up at Fort Jackson in Buras.  Nearly 200 birds were dead before their arrival at the center.  Twenty-four birds have been treated and released.


Oil-spill responders have discovered 278 sea turtles in the five-state impact area, 68 of which were found in Louisiana.  Three of the Louisiana turtles were observed covered in oil and brought to the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program facility in New Orleans.


Of 31 dolphins reported dead in the impact area, 20 were discovered in Louisiana.  The cause of death is still pending in all cases.


"Wildlife is both our business and our passion," said Barham.  "Each and every animal is important to us and we will do everything possible to give them a fighting chance."


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


http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/news/oilspill/6-4-10/1.jpg


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http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/news/oilspill/6-4-10/3.jpg


For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at bboehringer@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-5115.


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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES MODIFIES FISHING CLOSURE IN TERRITORIAL SEAS IN VERMILION PARISH

Release Date: 06/01/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure in a portion of the territorial seas near Freshwater Bayou in Vermilion Parish effective immediately, today, June 2, due to confirmed reports of oil.

Territorial Sea Closure

All state outside waters extending seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from 92 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude near Freshwater Bayou westward to 92 degrees  25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.  This closure is effective immediately June 2, 2010.

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.

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.

For more information please contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917

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.

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LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES AMENDS FISHING CLOSURE IN NORTHEAST PORTION OF ST. BERNARD PARISH

Release Date: 06/01/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in northeast St. Bernard Parish effective sunrise, tomorrow June 3.  This area was previously closed as a precautionary effort.  To date no oil has been confirmed in these waters.

The inshore waters on the eastern shore of the Biloxi Marsh north of 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north and south of 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 30 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds west longitude.

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.

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.

For more information please contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917  

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.

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OILED IMPACTED BIRD COLLECTION CONTINUES ALONG LOUISIANA COAST

Release Date: 06/01/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists and associated state and federal partners continue to patrol the state's marshes and beaches for oil impacted bird species in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill incident.


LDWF biologists today rescued six oiled seagulls in Plaquemines Parish and found one dead pelican at Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area.



Seven oiled sanderlings and one heavily oiled tern on the eastern end Grand Isle were also recovered.


All birds recovered are taken to the Fort Jackson rehabilitation facility in Buras. The facility is operated by Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research Center and the International Bird Rescue and Research Center.


Since recovery efforts began along the Louisiana coast, 24 birds have been rehabilitated and released back into the wild.


For more information, contact Bo Boehringer, 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.


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. View photos in from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep .


2010-181

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State Officials Submit Letter to BP Outlining Proposed Seafood Safety Program

Release Date: 05/28/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham, Secretary Alan Levine of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Peggy Hatch, Louisiana Department of Economic Development Secretary Steven Moret and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, sent a letter to British Petroleum today outlining their plan for a long-term seafood safety plan. In addition to sending a detailed proposal is for a 20-year, multi-agency initiative, the state is also requesting BP make $457 million available for implementation of the program.


The full text of the letter is below:


May 29, 2010 


Mr. Tony Hayward
Chief Executive Officer
British Petroleum
International Headquarters
1 St. James's Square
London, SW1Y 4PDUK


Dear Mr. Hayward:


As you know, the Louisiana seafood industry, for generations, has been one of Louisiana's staple economic engines. Collectively, the commercial and recreational industries represent $4 billion annually in economic impact to our state and coastal communities. Estimates are that our seafood industry provides 30 percent of the domestic seafood supply for America's lower 48 states and 70 percent of all Gulf seafood. In addition to our commercial fishing industry, more than 4.1 million recreational fishing trips originate from our coastal marinas. Louisiana-harvested seafood is a staple in restaurants in some of our nation's largest markets.


The future of this industry is in peril.


As the oil spill has impacted our coastal areas, and as BP has utilized efforts to disperse the oil, the state has taken several steps to both ensure the safety of the product and instill a sense of confidence among consumers in the safety of the product. These efforts have included closing fishing areas and oyster beds even before any visible impact by the oil. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, public confidence in our industry is eroding. This is evidenced by a recent USA Today poll, where 13 percent of those polled said they would not eat gulf seafood. This poll was taken before the images of coastal impact were seen on television, and we can only assume the damage is even worse today.


We believe it is important to act swiftly to reassure the public of the quality of our seafood. And we believe a long-term, sustained effort is necessary if we are going to impact consumer attitudes. We are grateful that BP has offered the state a limited amount of funding to market our seafood industry. Your offer takes off the table any question of whether a campaign is needed. Clearly, it is needed. Importantly, however, we must be able to convincingly make the case that our seafood product is safe and of high quality. The images of oil and dispersants will be difficult to overcome without science to back up our claims, and Louisiana is committed to taking these steps as quickly as possible.


We are providing herewith a proposal for a long-term seafood safety testing and certification program. This proposal was developed by the Louisiana Departments of Agriculture, Health and Hospitals, Wildlife and Fisheries, Environmental Quality, and Economic Development, and attempts to accomplish three goals:


1.         Implementation of a science-based seafood safety testing program with transparent metrics of safety and quality.


2.         Implementation of a certification program for quality and processing of certified Louisiana seafood.


3.         A successful short-term and sustained long-term consumer information campaign designed to reassert the Louisiana brand.


Given the size and magnitude of the Louisiana seafood industry, and given the generations of work that has been done to build the Louisiana brand, we believe the investment required is not insignificant.


We look forward to working with you and your team on a swift agreement so we can implement this plan.


We are ready to get to work, and are grateful for your immediate response.


Sincerely,  


Robert Barham
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries 


Alan Levine
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals 


Peggy Hatch
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality


Stephen Moret
Secretary, Louisiana Department of Economic Development 


Mike Strain
Commissioner, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry


cc: Doug Suttles, COO, BP Global (Robert EOC) Mike Utsler, Senior VP, BP Alaska Operations (Houma EOC) Lisa Jackson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Agency Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration


For more information please 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.


2010-178

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LDWF MODIFIES FISHING CLOSURE IN PORTIONS OF LOWER LAFOURCHE AND TERREBONNE PARISHES AND REOPENS TERRITORIAL SEAS SOUTH OF MARSH ISLAND

Release Date: 05/27/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in southern Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes and a reopening of the territorial seas south of Marsh Island to recreational and commercial fishing effective immediately today, May 28.

Lower Lafourche and Terrebonne Closure

The closure is in effect in the portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Terrebonne and south to 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude.  This closure is effective immediately today, May 28, 2010 due to confirmed reports of oil.

Territorial Seas Reopening

The reopening includes 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. This area will open immediately today, May 28.

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.

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.

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.

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LDWF AMENDS FISHING CLOSURE IN NORTHEAST PORTION OF ST. BERNARD PARISH

Release Date: 05/27/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in northeast St. Bernard Parish effective immediately today, May 28.  This closure is a result of confirmed reports of oil in the vicinity.

The closure effects the waters extending north of Martin Island on the eastern shore of the Biloxi Marsh at 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north latitude; thence northward to Isle au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds west longitude.

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.

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.

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.

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

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LDWF SETS SPRING SHRIMP SEASON DATES FOR ADDITIONAL PORTIONS OF ZONE 1

Release Date: 05/27/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that spring shrimp season in all of Zone 1, with the exception of areas previously closed by the department, will open at 6 a.m., May 31.

Spring Shrimp Season Areas to Remain Closed

The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in LA R.S.56:495.1

Those waters extending north of Martin Island at 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north latitude; thence northward to Isle au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds west longitude

Those waters south and east of Baptiste Collete Bayou

State outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of south Pass of the Mississippi River eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.

Fishermen are encouraged to monitor the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov/oilspill  to receive the most up-to-date information on areas open to fishing.

On May 6, the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission granted authority to the secretary to open the spring shrimp season in both inside and outside state waters within Shrimp Management Zone 1, based on biological date and the latest oil-spill trajectory.   Field reports indicate that 50 percent or more of the brown shrimp crop in these waters will average larger than 100 count per pound.

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.

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.

 
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.

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

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