NOAA opens a section of the closed fishery zone in the Gulf
Current revisions to the closure, described below, will be effective on June 7, 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.Tonight in an area along the northern border, just off the Florida panhandle, 430 sq mi (1,113.69484 sq km) will once again be open. Initially this area was closed on Saturday as a precautionary measure. Reviews of satellite imagery, radar and aerial data have shown that oil had not moved in that direction as the NOAA had originally predicted.The closure measures 78,264 sq mi (202,703 sq km), or about 32% 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.