May 18th, 2010
11:33 AM ET

NOAA closes 19 percent of Gulf to fishing

The federal government has shut down fishing in more of the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the massive oil spill there.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has shut down fishing in 19 percent of the Gulf over which the federal government has jurisdiction, NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco said Tuesday.

That's up from 10 percent that NOAA had ordered closed to fishing Monday. The agency had closed 8 percent of that portion of the Gulf under federal jurisdiction Friday.

The expansion to 19 percent means 45,728 square miles is now closed to fishing.

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. gaetano marano

    READ THE LATEST UPDATE of my article with a NEW (and VERY MUCH FASTER) idea to CLOSE the riser in a couple of DAYS and STOP the oil leak!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. afisher

    Now I am fully cognizant that the US is concerned for all the states in the Gulf, but one does have to wonder if other countries are going to get into this fight if their shores are affected.

    Glad to see that NOAA is doing their job. The results of the analysis from water samples collected from scientists on the Pelican are pending, but I am expect devastating news as the Chemical Spray will result in massive "unintended consequences" that may be worse than visible oil (if that is possible).

    May 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. afisher

    Don't know if you are for real or not. So we know that the BOP failed, blah blah blah, but what is to account for the other two leaks (remember there were three)? So if the pipe itself is faulty, then "putting a cork it in" – either yours or BP's may not work. Just a thought.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    Hurricane season is about to begin, what will happen if a big storm hits the Gulf?

    May 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dorothy

      It can possibly pick up the oil and carry it inland, all but destroying the Wetlands...

      May 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill R

      Probably more dispersal. A hurricane may be the best thing to happen to help oil already in water. Remember the adage...dilution is the solution to pollution?

      May 19, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. veronica dominguez

    Is this oil heading south, or is it contained?

    Toward South America?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. michael nyc

    Hello Lisa Marie,

    i was gratified to speak with you this morning – thank you very much – 917 885 4471


    – drill deep (about 1000ft) new adjacent shaft a few feet away from old shaft – place explosive charge at bottom and fill/cover/seal with cement – explode charge to collapse wall and fill with rock, earth etc.


    insert a pipe/hose containing a shut off valve into the existing hole that would have a flange that expands inside and does not have back pressure to oil escaping – then shut off valve ...


    discharge "liquid nitrogen" into leaking pipe thru a small hose from surface inserted as far in as possible


    Remove BOP and install new BOP – whilst exchange in process pump oil to surface with proximity hoses and into tanker/barges Skim oil continually from surface

    thank you

    Michael Gruters – former faculty physics Princeton late 60'

    p.s. the use of dispersing chemicals make surface removal impossible and poisons the sea – really stupid....

    p.p.s. dome is not necessary and wasting time – oil floats to surface and can be pumped into tankers/barges -employ a flotilla of existing tankers/barges starting at epicenter of shaft leak to recover (pump skim off surface oil)

    it is not proposed to use "hair" skimmers, but hoses that submerge and as water/oil mix is pumped into tanker/barge it is replaced by same – there are many tankers/barges currently in service to other gulf rigs. – as the tanker hold fills separated water from the bottom is pumped back.

    p.p.p.s. current plan to bring oil to suface by inserting a smaller pipe does not seal the leak and is only temporary fix – what about methane gas ?

    May 18, 2010 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Gates9

    MMS Approved 27 Gulf Drilling Operations AFTER BP Disaster
    26 Were Exempted From Environmental Review, Including Two to BP

    Salazar's "Moratorium" on New Drilling Permits Allows Continuation of the Same Flawed
    Environmental Exemption Process that Allowed the BP Catastrophe

    TUCSON, Ariz.— Even as the BP drilling explosion which killed eleven people continues to gush hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil per day into the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) has continued to exempt dangerous new drilling operations from environmental review. Twenty-seven new offshore drilling projects have been approved since April 20, 2010; twenty-six under the same environmental review exemption used to approve the disastrous BP drilling that is fouling the Gulf and its wildlife.

    “The MMS has learned absolutely nothing from this national catastrophe,” said Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, “It is still illegally exempting dangerous offshore drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico from all environmental review. It is outrageous and unacceptable.”

    The MMS became embroiled in controversy when it was revealed on May 5, 2010, that it exempted BP’s offshore drilling plan from environmental review by using a loophole in the National Environmental Policy Act meant only to apply to projects with no, or minimal, negative effects such as construction of outhouse and hiking trails. The controversy deepened when it was revealed that MMS exempts hundreds of dangerous offshore oil drilling projects in the Gulf of Mexico every year.

    Two of the newly approved—and environmentally exempted—drilling operations were awarded to BP despite the fact that the new plans are based on the exact same false assertions about oil rig safety and the improbability of environmental damage even of oil spill occurs:

    BP drilling plan approved April 6, 2010 (this is the one that exploded):
    “2.7 Blowout Scenario – A scenario for a potential blowout of the well from which BP would expect to have the highest volume of liquid hydrocarbons is not required for the operations proposed in this EP.”

    BP drilling plan approved May 5, 2010:
    "II.J. Blowout Scenario – Information not required for activities proposed in this Initial Exploration Plan."

    (see table below for further comparison).

    “It is inconceivable that MMS could look out its window at what is likely the worst oil spill in American history, then rubber stamp new BP drilling permits based on BP’s patently false statements that an oil spill cannot occur and would not be dangerous if it did. Heads need to start rolling at MMS.”

    In response to the environmental exemption scandal, embattled Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced yesterday that he had banned approval of new offshore oil drilling permits. The public, of course, assumed he was halting the approval of drilling plans and environmental exemptions since they are the heart of the MMS scandal. Today, however, the Interior Department acknowledged that environmental exemptions and drilling plans have not been halted. Salazar is allowing those flawed drilling approvals to proceed and is only halting the issuance of a last technical check off that does not involve any environmental review.

    Under Salazar’s “moratorium”, the environmental review process will continue to be completely undermined in the exact same manner as in the BP oil spill.

    “Salazar is playing a cynical shell game, making the public think he stopped issuing the faulty approvals that allowed the disastrous BP drilling to occur, when in fact he has given MMS the green light to keep issuing those very same approvals,” said Suckling. “The only thing Salazar has stopped is the final, technical check off which comes long after the environmental review. His media sleight of hand does nothing to fix the broken system that allowed what may be the greatest environmental catastrophe of our generation to occur.”

    “For Secretary Salazar to allow MMS to exempt 26 new oil wells from environmental review in the midst of the ongoing Gulf crisis shows an extraordinary lapse of judgment. It is inconceivable that his attention is apparently on providing BP with new environmentally exempted offshore oil wells instead of shutting down the corrupt process which put billion of dollars into BP’s pocket and millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.”

    May 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dragynne

    We seem to have forgotten hurricane season fast approaching – this is likely to be spread everywhere unless we can get it STOPPED UP and CLEANED UP - time to put major effort towards researching other options for oil.

    Anyone out there understand fluid dynamics? Yes, I'm talking to you, long-neck consumer – the glug, glug noise that means beer is coming out of the container is being replaced by air going inside the container – this breach is losing THOUSANDS of gallons of fluid and gas daily – is water replacing what spews forth, or is it creating a negative-pressure situation that may implode at any given point in time – then we very well could hear a "flushing" noise...

    With the potential draining action, after implosion, consider the Earth on her axis – do we stand much of a chance at all?

    May 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Don Chinery

    Imagine mid-August....... A category 4 Hurricane sweeps up through the Yucatan channel into the Gulf. Moving slowly, the Hurricane moves northward and churns up the sea bottom and with it, millions of gallons of settlled oil. the oil is carried by wind and currents and blankets the entire western seaboard coastline of Florida. THAT is the future........even if it doesn't happen this year..........that is the future.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dragynne

      Thanks, Don C., for helping me paint this picture – I live in an oil-rich zone, myself, far from the Gulf of Mexico, and was in SW Fla from 86 to 92 (I left 3 days before Hurricane Andrew arrived). Everything will be affected: Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and our ENTIRE EASTERN SEABOARD. The ramifications are frightening, aren't they?

      STOP the CHEMICAL DISPERSANTS, permit the fishing population to disperse organic materials (ie: hair and dried grasses – proven absorbents), and for the love of the EARTH get BP on with fabrication and construction of a collapsible slinky-type/dryer hose that can be compressed, delivered to the site (no icy/slushy gas/water hydrates this way!), secured over and sealed on the fount, then extended vertically towards the surface for ease of collecting this currently uncontrollable spew. Reinforce the slinky-style dryer hose with scaffolding, and we might stand a chance of ensuring that life on our planet continues to have a future.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. lafleur

    A bill to increase the liability cap for oil spills from $75 million to $10 billion was defeated Thursday by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. Bill S.3305, the "Big Oil Bailout Prevention Liability Act" would cap BP's liability at $10 billion, even if damages from the gulf oil spill surpass that figure. PLEASE CALL HER OFFICE & EXPRESS YOUR OUTRAGE AT HER WANTING TO LIMIT PAYOUT DAMAGES. Phone: 202-224-6665
    Fax: 202-224-5301

    May 18, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dragynne

      Not financially feasible for her, is it? Her poor wallet would choke and scream a melodramatic stage actor's death.

      May 18, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cindy

    I am glad to see Louisiana National Guard.Is President Obama going to deploy Army Navy etc. This is a National Disaster that is quickly getting out of hand. We need to worry about the USA.

    May 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom Mck

    This spill is going to cause massive environmental and economic damage. It is exactly why they won't let them drill off the west coast and they fought so hard to keep it away from the North Carolina coast. One well in the water can cause a real disaster whereas a well on the land is much easier to contain. Why are they allowed to drill in the ocean when there is so much oil available in shales and sands out west and in Canada? They can make more money on the oil under the continental shelf, thats why (easier to process).

    May 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Steve G

    Hello. Is anybody home in Washington? In case you have not noticed the Gulf of Mexico is being turned into the next Dead Sea. Rather than align all of our national resources (Military, Technologies, Underwater Researchers, etc) you are leaving resolving this up to the oil company that got us into this mess while you spend your time filling the airwaves with hate ads and political posturing. Where is the leadership?
    Reality check… over the years all of our tax dollars have been spent creating:
    1) The world’s most advanced military might
    2) Technology that decades ago could send a man to the moon
    3) Submarines capable of going undetected for months and destroying the world multiple times over.
    4) Spy satellites that can tell you what Armanutjob is eating for lunch
    5) The ability to track a terrorist in the mountains of Pakistan and hit him with a missile from a drone.
    But you can’t plug a pipe and stop one of the country’s most valuable resources from being desolated. What is it going to take to get the people in Washington to wake up?

    May 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Craig N. Barthelmas

    Subject: PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN, Dated: 10 May, 2010

    TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Here’s a contingency plan that has patented technology and a process that really works.

    1. We found a pre-processed material and developed an action plan that would have extracted up to 95% of the oil spill contaminants from seeded surface waters of the Gulf of Mexico, before it hit land fall.
    2. Our product is a, “Modified Oil Spill Environmental Sponge” dubbed M.O.S.E.S., it is a ¼” to ½” product that can be used to absorb oil contaminants from both “fresh water and salt water” surface oil spills. Our tests have concluded that one ton of product will absorb 125 gallons of oil in less than one hour. Simply put it will absorb approximately one half of its weight in oil. M.O.S.E.S. collects/absorbs oil not water. After saturation M.O.S.E.S. will only contain about 1.4% water. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to other kinds of wildlife including humans. A fifteen minute test will prove this process works.
    3. Our plan is full circle and includes staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    4. Due to the urgencies to reduce the impact on the environment and the magnitude of this spill, our plan required partnering with the Coast Guard and other organizations that were already being used to provide staging, seeding and reclaim operations.
    5. Seeding operations were to be handled in essentially the same way they were being done, with minor and/or no modifications to airborne or aquatic equipment that would handle spreading ¼” to ½” particulates.
    6. Re-claim operations required the same booms, scoops, pumps and barge operations, that were being used.
    7. Re-processing operations proposed a permanent emissions free plant for processing oil, sand and other like materials into re-usable fuels and commodities. The plant would take approximately ninety to one hundred and fifty days to construct and would become a permanent part of a states fast action response to future oil spills.
    8. Our plan would have first, assisted with the on-going damage control operations in the gulf; second, it could have been put into operation within seven days; third, it would have become a $30,000,000.00 per year financial benefit to the communities that embraced staging and plant processing operations.
    9. This plan will greatly reduced the time and costs associated with this kind of oil spill in the future. We are confident that this type of pro-active plan would become a template for other high risk (oceanic) areas.
    So, why was this plan given no consideration at all? It is not a question of if another spill will happen, but when! The only excuses we have been able to come up with that, we are sure you are going to here are, as follows:
    a. BP, News Networks and Government Agencies didn’t have the time to consider a pro-active long term plan?
    b. We were crack pots when, this technology is patented and the product could be tested in fifteen minutes?
    c. BP has it under control as, they have done this before? Yes and, crazy is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results! We need to get past these smoke screens and prepare for future spills.
    Thank you for your time and consideration. We’d love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is listening.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail:
    CC: BP., CNN, FOX NEWS, NOAA, Governors of: AL., FL., LA., MS., And TX.

    May 20, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Craig N. Barthelmas

    ATTENTION!! The PRO-ACTIVE OIL SPILL CONTINGENCY PLAN listed above will not plug oil leaks but, it will address five major problems; two of witch, are concerns that have not been addressed in the media or in the government.
    1. It truly is a LONG TERM-CONTINGENCY PLAN. It will help the community rebuild revenues while providing a fast action operational plan for future oil spills. Yes! Future oil spills will surely occur, despite future prevention efforts!
    2. This plan is full circle and would included staging, seeding, re-claiming and re-processing all of the contaminated oil’s, oil filled sands and seed materials back into re-usable fuels and commodities.
    3. It creates no added impact on marine life or the environment. It also poses no threat to humans and/or other forms of wildlife. Oil, feed stock and sand processing are near emissions free processes.
    4. It will generate $30,000,000.00 worth of new revenues for the communities that embrace staging and plant processing operations. The plant would remain in full operation after the clean-up is done.
    5. It will also add about forty new jobs to the community. This is not only a plan to help with short term clean up’s, it will also have a positive long term and lasting effect on the community as well.
    We all know that BP has been feeding us misinformation and then trying to mobilize volunteers to help minimize their cost. Yes! We sent BP and other agencies this plan. Operations of this nature have a price tag associated with them and so, it would appear that they have no wish to spend anything on spills they can’t control or that won’t go back into their pockets. The OMRS-100 technology is patented and, M.O.S.E.S. (The oil absorbent) can be tested in less than fifteen minutes!
    As always our government is seeking a short term quickie (political talk) so we can get a long term scr**ing! Has anyone mentioned where they (BP) plan to put and/or dispose of all of that contaminated; oil, sand and material? We are pretty sure that without intervention it will be in somebody’s back yard, neatly hidden from sight, killing something else. Don’t you think that any oil spill plan should at least consider: Prevention, Mobilization, Extraction and Disposal Operations?
    Thank you for your time. We would love to receive some constructive input from anyone who is as concerned as we are.
    Craig N. Barthelmas, Verizon Cell: [313] 682-1428, E-Mail:

    May 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |