Gulf of Mexico fishing boats hauled in far more menhaden last year than in 2010. Catches of some other important species were above pre-spill levels in some Gulf Coast states. But a federal official says it's too early to rule out long-term effects from the spill.
A national report released Wednesday says the Gulf's menhaden catch last year was nearly 66 percent above that in 2010. Other species also showed increases.
Roy Crabtree of NOAA Fisheries says that's guardedly good news. But he says it's probably too soon to tell whether the spill killed eggs and immature fish.
BP PLC says it wants to aggressively clean up buried oil exposed on Louisiana's beaches by Hurricane Isaac's churning waves.
The company wants to dig deep into beaches and remove oil buried since a BP well blew out on April 20, 2010, leading to the nation's largest offshore spill.
But digging deep can bring its own problems — it can be harmful to creatures that live on beaches or feed on them and it also may lead to erosion by loosening up sand. Erosion is a constant worry in Louisiana because the state is losing land at an alarming rate.
Transocean Ltd. and the Justice Department have discussed a $1.5 billion settlement that would resolve federal civil and criminal claims against the company over its role in the deadly 2010 rig explosion that spawned the nation's worst offshore oil spill.
But Switzerland-based Transocean Ltd. said in a regulatory filing Monday that a "number of issues," including the possible time period for payment, must be resolved before a deal can be completed.
A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.
The Louisiana governor's top coastal adviser says a dead whale has been reported washed ashore on Fourchon beach.
Garrett Graves said Friday the state was sending workers to examine the whale, which washed up southwest of New Orleans.
The size and species of the whale was not yet known. Graves said the whale was found in an area where tar balls and mats of weathered oil have been washing ashore from waters churned by Hurricane Isaac, resulting in the closure of a small portion of coastal waters to commercial fishing.
Laboratory tests show that globs of oil found on two Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac came from the 2010 BP spill.
Tests run by Louisiana State University for state wildlife officials confirmed that oil found on Elmer's Island and Grand Isle matched the biological fingerprint of the hundreds of millions of gallons of oil that spewed from BP's Macondo well.
On Wednesday, BP said oil from its spill had been exposed by Isaac's waves and that the company would work to clean it up.