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Fishing closed in waters affected by oil spill-NOAA

Other News Materials 3 May 2010 05:19 (UTC +04:00)
U.S. officials closed commercial and recreational fishing in a large swathe of federal waters affected by the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Fishing closed in waters affected by oil spill-NOAA

U.S. officials closed commercial and recreational fishing in a large swathe of federal waters affected by the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The affected waters, which span the coastlines of four states, are located largely between the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana to Florida's Pensacola Bay, NOAA said.

The ban took immediate effect and is in place for at least 10 days.

The Gulf of Mexico is home to fish, crabs, oyster and shrimp and accounts for about 20 percent of total U.S. commercial seafood production. The U.S. shrimp and oyster supply, in particular, is heavily concentrated in the Gulf.

"Balancing economic and health concerns, this order closes just those areas that are affected by oil," NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, said in a statement. "There should be no health risk in seafood currently in the marketplace."

Officials are working to prohibit harvesting from affected areas and keep oiled seafood off the market.

Disruptions related to the spill could cost the fishing industry in Louisiana alone as much as $2.5 billion, financial research firm Bernstein.

In 2008, commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico harvested more than 1 billion pounds of fish and shellfish out of the total 8.3 billion pounds, according to government statistics.

The massive and still-uncontrolled oil spill was caused by the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig after an explosion April 20 that killed 11 workers.

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