(Sept. 5, 2012)– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced an emergency closure of a portion of coastal waters due to the emergence of a large tar mat and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches, effective September 4. This action was taken in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, who will assist with the investigation to determine the extent, source, and impacts of the oil in the environment.
The area affected by this emergency closure includes the portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one mile from the shoreline from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
The only fishing activity allowed in the closed area is recreational, rod and reel (hook and line) fishing for finfish. The following activities are prohibited:
- all commercial fishing
- recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs and oysters
The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted.
In addition to this closure, certain areas are still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
For press inquiries regarding fisheries closures contact Ashley Wethey at firstname.lastname@example.org (225) 765-2396. For press inquiries regarding investigation of the presence of oil, contact Olivia Watkins at email@example.com or (225) 241-5707.