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Fishing bans extend in the Gulf of Mexico

June 1, 2010 — As the oil continues to spread in the Gulf of Mexico, fishing bans extend over 300km. Click on the video to the left for more details on how the spill is greatly affecting tourism.

There's been no break for workers in Louisiana. Monday marked the Memorial Day holiday, but crews continued to stack and load booms as part of the oil spill clean-up. The oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico.

Workers are using skimming methods to clean beaches. This is all part of the 'prevent and recover' strategy to both clean up the oil and avoid anymore damage.

“We are all out here. We're trying to do what we can to minimize the impact and to prevent anymore from entering the marshes,” says Petty Officer Kimberly Gault from the United States Coast Guard.

While clean-up crews were busy working over the holiday, marina businesses were suffering. Memorial Day is usually one of the busiest weekends for the Venice Marina in Louisiana, but this year most boats remained docked due to the oil spill.

“Just since about last Wednesday, we probably lost 150 grand that we didn't take in, you know fuel, ice, bait, pack down, additional beer sales,” says Bill Butler, co-owner of Venice Marina. Several boats have already been moved by their owners to waters without any restrictions.

Butler adds that only about a handful of fishermen have come in and out of the marina. Usually on Memorial Day, the marina would be full of boats and the restaurant would be packed, but this year most of the business was to serve oil workers.

Almost a third of federal waters in the Gulf are closed for fishing because of the spill. The irregular ban extends from Louisiana to just west of Florida and then bends south.

So it's no wonder that frustrations continue to mount in regards to the response effort. Especially after the 'Top Kill' approach failed on Saturday. This plan was used to try and inject drilling fluids, which are heavier than oil, into the blowout preventer at the seabed.

Using the revised estimates, this spill has dumped twice the amount of oil as the Exxon Valdez disaster. On Sunday, White House advisor Carol Browner said the Gulf spill is the biggest environmental disaster the United States has ever faced. Broken pipes and wells attached to the sunken Deep Horizon rig have been gushing oil for more than a month.

The troubles began on April 20 when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and sank, killing 11 workers.

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