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Nov 252010
 

(Dallas, TX) — The government has closed nearly 4200 square miles of federal waters in the Gulf to royal red shrimping.

The action came after a Gulf of Mexico commercial shrimper found tar balls in his nets.
The area is off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a statement Wednesday saying it had taken the action "out of an abundance of caution" and that the ban only applied to royal red shrimp, which are caught deep in the sea where the tar balls were found.

The tar balls are being analyzed by the Coast Guard to determine whether they originated with the BP oil spill.

This is the first Gulf fishery closure since July 12th.

In early June, NOAA had placed more than 88,000 square miles of Gulf waters off limits to fishing.

Those areas have slowly been reopened.

A more than 1,000 square mile area immediately surrounding the BP wellhead is still closed to all commercial and recreational fishing.

(Copyright 2010 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)