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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Good News in Gulf: Government Reduces Area Closed to Fishing by One-Third
22 July 2010 5:37 pm
For the first time in months, the government has good news for Gulf of Mexico fishermen: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has decided to reopen a 68,345 square kilometer chunk of the gulf to commercial and recreational fishing. That reduces the closed area by about a third but leaves about a quarter of U.S. gulf waters still off-limits.
In a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, NOAA describes why it closed the area in the first place over a month ago despite the fact that heavy oil was never seen in the area.
The region begins about 300 kilometers east and slightly south of the well. Some surveys reported a sheen that may or may not have been oil. But forecasts showed the Loop Current sweeping oil into the region. That never happened, it turns out:
We now have evidence that the oil in the vicinity of Area A actually became entrained in a circular current in the middle of the Gulf and remained there. Oil never spread through Area A because in early June the loop current shifted far to the south and has not shifted back to the north through the center of the Gulf. The last confirmed sighting of oil in Area A occurred on June 15th.
Before reopening the area, NOAA, according to the fishery bulletin, caught and tested 52 samples of fish from the area:
Sensory testing showed no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors in the samples, and the results of chemical analysis were well below levels of concern.