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Louisiana Modifies Fishery Closures Because of Oil Encroachment

Baton Rouge: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham has announced the following additional closures to recreational and commercial fishing activities in portions of state inside waters in lower Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes and territorial seas effective May 22, 2010. These closures are because of confirmed reports of oil.

BARATARIA BASIN
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and north of the inside/outside shrimp line, from the western shore of the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche

TERREBONE BASIN
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and north of the inside/outside shrimp line from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 91 degrees 20 minutes 20 seconds west longitude.

TERRITORIAL SEAS
That portion of state outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from 91 degrees 00 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 91 degrees 20 minutes 20 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 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.
A map detailing these closures is available at: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/pdfs/news/FISHING-CLOSURE.jpg
For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov

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