NOAA modifies recreational fishing closure in the oil-affected portions of the Gulf of Mexico

The closure is 60,683 sq mi (157,169 sq km), which is about 25% of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Current revisions to the closure, described below, will be effective on May 28, 2010 at 6 p.m. eastern time (5 p.m. central time). All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area; however, transit through the area is allowed.

The closure is 60,683 sq mi (157,169 sq km), which is about 25% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone. The majority of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are open to commercial and recreational fishing.

Modeling and mapping the actual and projected spill area is not an exact science. NOAA Fisheries Service strongly advises fishermen not to fish in areas where oil or oil sheens (very thin layers of floating oil) are present, even if those areas are not currently closed to fishing.

Permit holders are reminded to maintain their federal vessel permits by submitting timely reporting requirements and renewal applications, even if the vessel is not currently engaged in fishing activities.

Ways To Receive Closure Information: Southeast Fishery Bulletins: to sign up send an email to: SERO.Communications.Comments@noaa.gov Call 1-800-627-NOAA (1-800-627-6622) to hear a recording of the current coordinates Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for updates Text messages on your cell phone: to sign up text fishing@gulf to 84469 (for more information visit http://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doc/2931/558107) Follow us on Twitter: usnoaagov to get a tweet when the closed area changes

Links for more information:

Southeast Regional Office's Web page:
http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill.htm

NOAA's National Ocean Service
http://response.restoration.noaa.gov

Fishermen who wish to contact BP about a claim should call 1-800-440-0858.