More gulf waters opened to fishing

Oct. 16, 2010 at 1:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Another 7,000 square miles of water in the Gulf of Mexico has been reopened to fishing, officials said.

Just seven percent of federal waters in the region remain closed to fishing, CNN reported.

Friday's announcement is the ninth reopening since July 22, and reflects continued progress on the cleanup following the April BP oil spill, the report said.

"We are guardedly optimistic," said Roy Crabtree, Southeast regional administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Service.

Federal testing of seafood from the opened fishing area has not found any problems, the report said.

"Tourists and consumers should know most gulf waters are open for fishing and seafood from these waters is safe to eat," said Jane Lubchenco, NOAA's administrator.

At its peak, the oil spill forced the closure of almost 89,000 square miles of gulf fishing and just over 16,000 square miles remain closed.

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