Jun 23, 2010 8:05 PM by Chris Welty
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - NOAA has opened more than 8,000 square miles
of previously closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico because no
oil has been observed there.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Wednesday
said the most significant opening is an area south of Mississippi,
which was closed Monday. Smaller areas also were opened off the
Louisiana and central Florida coasts.
Officials say the waters initially were closed as a precaution
to ensure that seafood taken from them would remain safe for
consumers. It had been projected that oil spewing from the
Deepwater Horizon rig accident would be in the areas over the next
few days. However, NOAA says a review of satellite images, radar
and aerial data indicates that oil has not moved into those areas.
According to NOAA, the now closed area covers 78,597 square
miles, about 32.5 percent of the Gulf's federal waters. That leaves
more than two-thirds of the Gulf's federal waters available for