The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has allowed fishing to resume across 138 square miles off the Santa Barbara coast that was closed after last month’s oil spill.
What’s the Problem?
June 30, 2015 – CDFW officials decided to reopen the area following word from scientists that eating fish caught in those waters poses no threat to human health, according to CBS News.
Scientists worked with the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) to test a wide range of finfish, shellfish and other marine life to evaluate whether they’d been affected by the oil.
“Getting sustainable Santa Barbara seafood back in the market was important,” said Thomas M. Cullen, administrator for the state Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR).
The May 19 spill occurred after an onshore pipeline operated by Plains All American ruptured, leaking up to 101,000 gallons of crude, about 21,000 gallons of which reached the ocean.
Local campgrounds were closed, commercial fishing was suspended, and nearly 300 marine mammals and birds were found dead after the spill. A beach south of the spill — El Capitan State Beach — reopened to the public last week. Cleanup costs are approaching $100 million.