BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is extending the northern boundary of the federal closure area in the Gulf of Mexico and will include all federal waters south of the Mississippi state line.
This closure does not affect Mississippi state waters which are currently open.
The closure area will go into effect at 5p.m. Central Time Monday, May 31. This extension coincides with the June 1 opening of the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season and will affect some areas targeted by charter boat captains and private anglers.
"We are communicating regularly with Gulf fishermen about real-time oil spill observations and projections, as well as collecting feedback on what they see while out fishing," said Roy Crabtree, NOAA's Fisheries Service southeast regional administrator. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and we are prepared to extend fishing seasons if we see catches are down, and seafood is safe."
The new closure measures 61,854 sq mi (60,200 sq km), or about 26 percent of the Gulf of Mexico, a slight increase above the last modification issued Friday.