There really couldn't be anything I could write that would be better than this recent announcement from NOAA, so I'll just quote it in its entirety....
"Today, NOAA is announcing that it will re-open 26,388 square miles of Gulf waters to commercial and recreational fishing in the southeastern portion of the closed area. This reopening, a third of the overall closed area, is being announced after consultation with FDA and under a re-opening protocol agreed to by NOAA, the FDA, and the Gulf states. The reopening of these areas will be effective beginning 6pm ET today.
Since mid-June, NOAA data have shown no oil in the area, and United States Coast Guard observers flying over the area in last 30 days have also not observed any oil. Additionally, trajectory models show the area is at a low risk for future exposure to oil, and fish caught in the area and tested by NOAA experts have shown no signs of contamination.
Between June 23 and July 5, NOAA collected samples of fish, including grouper, snapper, tuna, and mahi mahi from the area where the heaviest fishing will take place. Sensory and chemical testing following the methodology and procedures in the re-opening protocol showed no detectable oil or dispersant odors or flavors, and the results of chemical analysis were well below the levels of concern.
NOAA will continue to take samples for testing from the newly re-opened area, and the agency has also implemented dockside sampling to test fish caught throughout the Gulf by commercial fishermen.
NOAA will continue to evaluate the need for fisheries closures based on the evolving nature of the spill and will re-open closed areas as appropriate.
A map with the location of the re-opened areas is attached and can be found after the area is re-opened today at 6pm EST at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill.htm "
Wow - very good to hear.