Three weeks after most fishing closures enacted in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill were overturned by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, there still are numerous areas closed to recreational anglers – and that didn’t change during today’s (Aug. 5) commission meeting.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham did not address those closures during his remarks, and commission members ratified those actions without comment or question.
However, LDWF’s Joey Shepard said the closures are not being kept in place for any concerns over fish consumption.
“All the testing is coming back that the fish are safe,” Shepard said.
Instead, the concern is that these areas received a lot of oil and repeated oiling.
“We want to make sure (anglers) don’t interfere with the cleanup of the oil,” Shepard said.
Shepard said that, even though some these areas might have been cleaned, officials were monitoring them to ensure more oil didn’t show up. And he said his agency would act as soon as it was clear the areas would not be re-oiled.
“It looks like the oil is going away and if it looks like (these areas) are not going to be re-oiled, (Barham) will look at reopening those areas,” Shepard said.
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