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The state of Louisiana has opened all of its waters to recreational fishing, but not to commercial fishermen just yet. It's a decision that has drown some ire from the commercial fishing industry.

Commercial fishermen said that either the seafood is safe to eat or it isn't and the state shouldn't pit one industry against another.

They also said the visual images won't be helpful.

'They're out there with boom, working everyday to clean it up and we got our boats everywhere, so how can you open up to recreational?' asked Clint Guidry of the Louisiana Shrimp Association. 'That's going to make a heck of a picture for some national guy. Throwing a rod, like I love to fish, and here's a guy in haz mat suits picking up oiled boom.'

Those who are in favor of the decision to open the waters to recreational fishing say it will greatly help small businesses like bait and tackle shops who've been hurt by the oil spill.

While recreational fishing is open for fin fish, you cannot harvest shrimp, crabs or oysters.

The Wildlife and Fisheries say they are testing fish samples for testing and analysis in preparation for reopening areas closed to commercial fishing.

With today's action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an 'intent to reopen' to NOAA and the FDA

LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination. This process is expected to take between seven and ten days

After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening

For a map detailing today's recreational openings click here.
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/maps/oil-spill/recreational-map-1.png
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/maps/oil-spill/recreational-map-2.png
http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/maps/oil-spill/recreational-map-3.png

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