Gulf of Mexico Fishing Ban Extended
June 1, 2010
According to the Associated Foreign Press, U.S. officials have expanded a fishing ban in the Gulf of Mexico by more than 1,000 square miles. Some 61,854 square miles of Gulf of Mexico waters are now closed to fishing, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said. "NOAA continues to work closely with the US Food and Drug Administration and the states to ensure seafood safety, by closing fishing areas where tainted seafood could potentially be caught," the agency said in a statement. More than 74 percent of the Gulf of Mexico remained open, it added. At least 20 million gallons of oil are feared to have already flooded into the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded on April 20 killing 11 people and sank into the sea two days later. Attempts by British energy firm BP to cap and siphon off some of the leaking oil have so far failed. NOAA said that in 2008, commercial fishermen in the Gulf harvested more than one billion pounds of fish and shellfish and some 5.7 million recreational fishermen took 25 million fishing trips in the Gulf of Mexico.