The fishing ban has expanded in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the oil spill. All commercial and recreational fishing including catch and release is prohibited in the closed area; however, transit through the area is allowed.
The closure measures 80,228 sq mi (207,790 sq km) and covers about 33% of the Gulf of Mexico exclusive economic zone. The majority of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are open to commercial and recreational fishing.
Modeling and mapping the actual and projected spill area is not an exact science. NOAA Fisheries Service strongly advises fishermen not to fish in areas where oil or oil sheens (very thin layers of floating oil) are present, even if those areas are not currently closed to fishing.