L.D.W.F. Announces Reopening of Commercial Fishing Areas

Release Date: 07/28/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) - in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Specifically, commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters east of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes effective immediately today, July 29.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA.  The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Details on Commercial Fishing Reopening

The opening includes all state waters inside east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and all state outside waters north of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude

The areas detailed below will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters.  The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process; as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing.  It is also important to note that the spring inshore shrimp season remains closed except in Lake Pontchartrain, portions of Pass Manchac, Rigoletes and Chef Menteur Passes, portions of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the "double-rig" line.

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 as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

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

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