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PRESS RELEASE

LDWF Modifies Closures in Portion of Territorial Seas Below Barataria Bay and Inside Waters West of Bayou Lafourche to Recreational and Commercial Fishing

BATON ROUGE (May 21, 2010) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing activities in a portion of the the territorial seas, just south of Barataria Bay, from the eastern shore of Chaland Pass to the eastern shore of Barataria Pass and a portion of state inside waters west of Bayou Lafourche effective sunset, today, May 21, 2010. These closures are a result of confirmed reports of oil.


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Territorial Seas Closure

The state's territorial seas seaward of the inside-outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Chaland Pass at 89 degrees 44 minutes 06.3 seconds west longitude to the eastern shore of Barataria Pass at 89 degrees 56 minutes 44 seconds west longitude will close effective sunset May 21, 2010.

Inshore Closure

That portion of inside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 40 minutes 00 seconds west longitude north of 29 degrees 10 minutes 16 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 14 minutes 00 seconds north latitude will close effective sunset May 21, 2010.

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.

All other closures remain in place.

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