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Federal Gulf waters to reopen to fishing

GULF OF MEXICO — Federal authorities are set to announce that a stretch of the Gulf of Mexico off the Florida Panhandle will be reopened for commercial and recreational fishing.

Large swaths of the Gulf of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have been closed to fishing since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon killed 11 workers.

The well was capped in mid-July. With no more oil spewing, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration Administrator Jane Lubchenco scheduled a news conference Tuesday at a marina in Panama City Beach to announce the reopening of federal waters off the Panhandle.

Federal waters begin about 10 miles from Florida’s shores. State waters are open to fishing, with some restrictions for crabbing and shrimping near the Florida-Alabama state line.

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