Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of inside and outside waters in Terrebonne, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes and inside waters in Lafourche and Jefferson parishes effective immediately today, July 1, 2010.
These are precautionary fishing closures are due to strong east to southeast winds and higher than normal tides influenced by Hurricane Alex and the proximity of oil in portions of inshore and offshore state waters.
Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 12 seconds north latitude from the Houma Navigation Canal red bouy line westward to the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou and the portion of state outside waters from 90 degrees 46 minutes 01 seconds west longitude westward to 91 degrees 07 minutes 48 seconds west longitude near the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou.
Lafourche and Jefferson Parishes
The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 16 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche.
Plaquemines and St. Bernard Parishes
The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line and all state outside waters east of the Mississippi River.
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.
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 information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or firstname.lastname@example.org.