Tar balls wash up in Grand Isle, mayor worried about fishing community

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 2:02 AM

WWLTV.com
Email: webteam@wwltv.com | Twitter: @WWLTV

GRAND ISLE, La. - Days after Isaac stormed the Gulf Coast, residents in one community have another mess to clean up. Tar balls washed ashore on Elmer's Island on Wednesday.

Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle grew curious when he noticed fisherman coming back with small catches.

"All in all, I am very concerned about it. It's destroying our fishing community. We work closely with the coast guard and trying to tell them we knew this was coming," he said.

The mayor said he has called BP officials. On Monday, he'll head to Washington to lobby for coastal erosion and other levee problems. (Watch the video to hear his full interview.)

An oil mat was discovered in the Gulf of Mexico forced the closure of coastals waters between Elmer's Island and Port Fourchon, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

"The area affected by this emergency closure includes the portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one mile from the shoreline from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude."

In the area, commercial and recreational fishing is prohibited, according to wildlife and fisheries, except for recreational and charter boat angling.  "The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted," said a statement from wildlife and fisheries.

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