NOAA closes 4,200 square miles of Gulf to Royal Red Shrimping - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

NOAA closes 4,200 square miles of Gulf to Royal Red Shrimping

GULF OF MEXICO (KPLC) - More than 4,000 square miles of federal water in the Gulf of Mexico is now closed to royal red shrimping. This area includes the federal waters closest to Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. The closure is effective Wednesday at 6pm, and does not apply to any state waters.

NOAA made the decision after a commercial shrimper hauled in his catch of the deep water shrimp this week and discovered tar balls in his net.

Fishing for royal red shrimp is conducted by pulling fishing nets across the bottom of the ocean floor. NOAA officials believe the tar balls found in the catch may have been entrained in the net as it was dragged along the seafloor. The fisherman who reported this catch had trawled for brown shrimp in shallow waters in a different portion of the area to be closed earlier in the day without seeing tar balls.

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