Fishing areas, oyster beds closed due to oil spill

Staff reports

The Louisiana departments of Health and Hospitals, and Wildlife and Fisheries, announced they will be closing select fishing areas and oyster harvesting beds as a precautionary response to the oil spill in the Gulf.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham said the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in Zone 1, excluding the coastal boundaries of Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident has resulted in a significant release of oil into the offshore waters of southeast Louisiana. Oil has the potential to impact fish and other aquatic life in portions of Louisiana’s coastal waters. 

DHH is closing molluscan shellfish harvesting areas 2 through 7 today as a precaution. Areas 2 through 7 are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard.

DHH Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order, which took effect Friday, April 30. 

Since the explosion at the BP global exploration site and resulting leak, officials from DHH’s Office of Public Health Molluscan Shellfish Program have been closely monitoring the situation and continuing daily tests of the 8-million acre Louisiana shoreline.