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PRESS RELEASE

LDWF ANNOUNCES RETURN TO NORMAL FISHING ACTIVITY EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI

Baton Rouge (September 23, 2010) - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in 559 square miles of state waters east of the Mississippi River previously closed due to the BP oil spill. With today's action 92 percent of state waters are open.

Commercial fishing will reopen immediately today, September 23, to the harvest of finfish, crabs and shrimp in all state waters east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude. The openings also include the recreational harvest of shrimp and crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

State inside waters in the Mississippi River delta south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and adjacent state outside waters south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and portions of state waters in the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice.

While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP at http://www.twitter.com/GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

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