Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of inside waters and the territorial seas east of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish effective immediately, today June 15. This area was originally closed due to precautionary measures. The most recent information from shoreline cleanup assessment teams indicates no oil in these areas.
The portion of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double rig line in LA R.S.56 495.1 and state outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line north of 29 degrees 37 minutes 54 seconds north latitude will open to recreational and commercial fishing with the exception of the following areas which shall remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing:
- those inside and outside state waters bounded on the north by 30 degrees 01 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and on the south by 29 degrees 43 minutes 58 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 88 degrees 55 minutes 14.6 seconds west longitude.
the portion of inside waters extending north of Martin Island at 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north latitude and south of Isle au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 7 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 30 seconds west longitude.
Portions of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge may lie within the open area and fishermen are advised to contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service at (985)882-2000 for information concerning refuge regulations and/or refuge closures.
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