May 24th, 2010
09:18 PM ET

U.S. declares fisheries disaster in oily Gulf

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke on Monday declared a fishery disaster in the Gulf of Mexico because of the economic impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on fisheries in the region.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has closed nearly 20 percent of the commercial and recreational fisheries in the area because of the spill, and Locke's declaration will allow the federal government to put additional resources into the Gulf states to soften the blow.

"The disaster determination will help ensure that the federal government is in a position to mobilize the full range of assistance that fishermen and fishing communities may need," Locke said in a statement accompanying the declaration.

Fishing is a $2.4 billion industry in the Gulf states. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour requested the declaration, "based on the loss of access to many commercial fisheries and the existing and anticipated environmental damage from this unprecedented event," the statement said.

"We stand with America's fishermen, their families and businesses in impacted coastal communities during this challenging time," Locke said. "Commercial and recreational fishing provides vital jobs to the region and is essential to the Gulf Coast's unique culture and heritage."

The Commerce Department said the Obama administration has asked for about $20 million so far to offset the costs of the spill's impact. But the statement reiterated that oil company BP, whose ruptured undersea well off Louisiana is the source of the spill, "and any other responsible parties" will have to pay to clean up the region and make good on any economic losses.

soundoff (27 Responses)

    why the US government doesn't send there the US NAVY to do the right job quickly and STOP this "American Chernobyl"???
    the FAST and EASY ways to STOP the oil spill:

    May 24, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • zachary kamin

      why does the US government have to do something that they can no where near afford

      May 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • diaryofatiredblackman

      The gov'ts gotta do something. Its destroying the economy down there, thats what the federal govt is for. This was a manmade era, not a natural disaster. Even conservatives are calling for govt intervention here.

      May 24, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ruffnutt

    we sould just wait and see what happens in the next few weeks... rushing to a quick fix could be dangerous.

    i think my idea to duct tape a big cork to the nose of a submarine and ram it in would work tho.

    May 24, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • zachary kamin

      are you high ?

      May 24, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. zachary kamin

    Well, i dont feel bad about those states, they new that that oil spill reach them but for some reason they thought that the federal government and BP would be able to fix it, that was a mistake and this is the consequense. the state government need to get their citizens off their butts and start working on this problem, and who knows if you pay the people to do it then that might stimulate the economy a little bit, taking out 2 birds with one stone

    May 24, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Steve boggii

    sieze bp assets and take over response. give BP input, but everything stops until the leak is stopped, and cleanup is done.

    May 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • zachary kamin

      oh so now we're the USSR just punish the whole country with high gas prices why dont we

      May 24, 2010 at 10:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ruffnutt

    ok i got another idea... get a dolphin with a remote control bomb to swim down there

    May 24, 2010 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Onlyoneway

    The key is the carrier.
    The carrier is the pipe.
    Pull the pipe and the leak will stop.
    Cannot pull the pipe then destroy the pipe?
    A contolled nuclear explosion blast will destroy the pipe and the earth will fall into itself and berry the the pipeline thus stopping the oil flow.
    Then and only then will the 20 plus years cleanup begin.

    May 24, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. ruffnutt

    you dont really need a nuke to close of those bunkerbuster that they used in iraq would work

    May 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bole2bowl

    Just bomb it! What a classic response to a crisis. hahaha.

    May 25, 2010 at 3:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Smith in Oregon

    Live Video Link of the BP Crude Oil gushing out of the deep sea well head riser pipe as seen from a remove operated vehicle 5,000 feet beneath the Gulf of Mexico:

    The gusher appears fairly steady and given that riser pipe is 21 inches across, the volume gushing out must be a great deal of crude Oil every day.

    May 25, 2010 at 4:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. ramonsito

    Send F.E.M.A – Find Every Mexican Available, to do the job. We'll get it done right the first time!

    May 25, 2010 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. chui

    Great move for the Conservative Republicans of LA and MS politicians to have the US Tax Payers to once again bail out these malignant narcissist who have for too long slept with the shyster oil companies. All that is going to happen is that these politicians will pocket the money or dribble down a few drop in the bucket to select few of their own kind of hacks to live high on the hog as they did with some $100 billion so called reconstruction of the Gulf area after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The rich will get richer and the poor poorer.

    May 25, 2010 at 6:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Coyote Howlen

      These folks are the first people to wave their pom poms at the bloody pep rallies for more war, no taxes, less gun control and NO OVERSIGHT. Well now they are breathing, drinking and eating their "gold". How does it taste??

      The really bad disaster may not have even hit yet. I read an article that says BP used an oil dispersal in the water that is 2.61 ppm toxic to all life–even microbial. and the stuff evaporates at low temperatures so is likely to get into the air and clouds. How to you get out of that kind of rain?

      May 25, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jack

    Republicans last month: Drill baby drill. US gov't- get the h#ll out of my Waco/Medicare/Gun laws/State's rights.

    Republicans this month: WHERE THE H#LL IS THE FEDERAL GOV'T!?!?!? we need them!!!

    May 25, 2010 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  13. crane

    you mean like...this declared disaster for fishermen in the gulf right here? from yesterday? U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today determined there has been a fishery disaster in the Gulf of Mexico due to the economic impact on commercial and recreational fisheries from the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The affected area includes the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.

    May 25, 2010 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  14. Detective L

    I find it fairly disturbing that this crisis has not been averted yet; Given how much time and the many deadlines the government has placed upon BP. Doubtless, radical response must be immediate. I cannot say I know any of you...Hardly. But for those of us vacationing south this year, especially in Louisiana...We are most likely going to be spending much of our time witnessing first hand the economic and ecologic fallout rather than enjoying ourselves. I myself..?

    Well, a problem doesn't fix itself. I will assist with relief effort as well. I expect many more to try and do the same. If you find fault with this disaster, then make the conscious decision to do something about it.

    May 25, 2010 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  15. Coyote Howlen

    Here the link that explains the chemical nature of the dispersant that BP used in the Gulf of Mexico.

    May 25, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
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