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NOAA reopens federal waters to commercial fishermen

GULF OF MEXICO — The government is allowing commercial and recreational fishing again in roughly one third of the waters it had closed because of the BP oil spill.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the area that reopened yesterday is 26,388 square miles of federal waters in the Gulf.

The administration said that since mid-June, no oil had been found in the area. Additionally, projections of where the oil might go in the future shows a low risk of the area being hit.

NOAA also says fish caught in the area and tested have shown no signs of contamination.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says that the reopening provides important assurance that seafood is safe and protects the Gulf seafood brand.

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