Today NOAA reopened 3,114 square miles of Gulf waters offshore of the western Florida panhandle to commercial and recreational fishing. The reopening was announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states.
Trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.
“We are pleased
to continue moving forward with reopening portions of Gulf federal waters to
recreational and commercial fishing,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary
of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “I’d like to thank
everyone for their patience throughout this process, as we work to ensure
seafood safety remains our primary objective.”
At its closest point, the area to be reopened is about 55 miles northeast of the Deepwater/BP wellhead. The total area is about one percent of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Release