New Orleans, La. – The closures are in effect for at least 10 days, while water quality and seafood are tested for signs of contamination. Areas now closed run from the mouth of the Mississippi River in Louisiana to Pensacola Bay in Florida. The waters are rich in shrimp, oysters, crabs and finfish and accounted for more than a billion pounds harvested by commercial fishermen in the Gulf in 2008. Federal officials will reopen areas and close others depending on where the oil slick moves. Bad weather is hampering skimming operations, and prevented President Obama from flying over the spill during his visit to the Gulf Coast on Sunday.
For NPR News, I'm Eileen Fleming in New Orleans.