Jul 2, 2010 11:15 AM by Melissa Canone
BILOXI, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Sound is now completely
closed to all commercial and recreational fishing.
On Thursday night, the state Department of Marine Resources and
the Department of Environmental Quality closed the last open
portion of Mississippi's territorial marine waters.
Any fish, shrimp, crabs or oysters caught in the closed area
must be immediately returned to the waters. There is no catch and
release fishing allowed in the closed area.
The precautionary closure is a result of oil sightings in this
general area and the potential impacts on Mississippi's coastal
Mississippi's bays and rivers remain open for fishing.
Also Thursday, Doug Suttles, chief operating officer of BP PLC,
told coastal officials in Jackson County that tar balls, patties,
mousse and other oil residue from the Deepwater Horizon gusher will
continue to wash up on the local shoreline for two months after the
flow has stopped.
"We know the travel time is about that," he said. "It will
still come ashore after that, but in much smaller quantities. We
are going to be here as long as it is coming in."
Suttles made a visit Thursday to Pascagoula Beach, a newly
created 1.5-mile long beach where about 200 workers hunted for oil
Mike Mangum, president of the Jackson County Board of
Supervisors, and Robbie Maxwell, Pascagoula mayor, accompanied
Suttles on the beach walk.
"I feel much better after talking with him," said Maxwell.
"One of the reasons we had him out here was to look at the beach
and understand the beach is eroding and we are preparing to put
riprap on it, and how that is going to affect his operations."
Donald Langham, county emergency management director, said Ocean
Springs and Pascagoula beaches were "pretty much" cleaned.
A flight over the Mississippi Sound on Thursday found patches of
oil between the barrier islands, he said.
"Most of the islands have impact," he said.