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Date of Issue: June 23, 2010

NOAA expands closed fishing area

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association June 16 expanded the closed fishing area in the Gulf of Mexico to capture areas of oil moving north off the Florida panhandle’s federal state waterline.

According to a NOAA news release, the closed area represents 80,806 square miles, or 33.4 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters. Federal waters on the west coast of Florida include areas beyond 9 nautical miles offshore.

The previous closure on June 7 consisted of 78,264 miles.

NOAA is working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure seafood safety by closing fishing area where seafood could be tainted by the oil spill and .

Fishermen wishing to contact BP with a claim can call 1-800-440-0858.