The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) continues to monitor water conditions in the part of the Gulf of Mexico that is being impacted by the huge oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon sinking. NOAA has recently modified and expanded the boundaries of the closed fishing area to better reflect the current location of the BP oil spill, and is extending the fishing restriction until May 17.
The closed area now represents slightly less than 4.5 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. The original closure boundaries, which took effect last Sunday, encompassed less than three percent. This leaves many areas that are still available for fishing. The vast majority of Gulf waters has not been affected by the oil spill and continues to support productive fisheries and tourism activities.