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Jul 2, 2013 3:28 PM by Associated Press

Tar mats prompt Louisiana to close small area off Grand Terre

NEW ORLEANS | The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has closed an area off East Grand Terre Island to all but recreational rod and reel fishing because tar mats were removed from the area last week. BP PLC says the closing appears groundless and will hurt Louisiana.

Department Secretary Robert Barham says the closure affects waters within a half-mile of the island's curved southern shoreline.

All commercial fishing is forbidden in that area, as are most kinds of recreational fishing. Charter tours using rod and reel are permitted.

A news release Tuesday from BP says all of the fish tested from Gulf Coast states since 2010 have been within federal health limits.

It says the closing "may help perpetuate the myth" that people should avoid Gulf seafood and Louisiana's waters.

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