Fishing resumed Tuesday along the Orange County coast where an oil spill forced a shutdown of fisheries for nearly two months.
The closure of the fisheries was lifted at noon and fishing resumed midday, state officials said Monday.
Fishing was prohibited starting Oct. 3 from Huntington Beach to Dana Point following the Oct. 2 oil spill. By Oct. 5, the ban on fishing was expanded to encircle 650 square miles of marine waters and about 45 miles of shoreline, including all bays and harbors from Seal Beach to San Onofre State Beach, officials said.
Seafood was tested for chemicals from oil from Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, with authorities on Monday alerting the California Department of Fish and Wildlife that the seafood was OK to resume eating.
Investigators suspect at least one ship was involved in an incident on Jan. 25 in which an anchor dragged a pipeline, bending it like a bow. At some point the pipeline began leaking, spilling thousands of gallons of oil into the ocean.
“I am relieved to see that our fisheries will finally be able to reopen,” Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said. “This oil spill immediately put a halt to the operations of many small businesses in our community whose livelihoods depend on the ability to fish off our Southern California coast. The business owners I have had the privilege to hear from in the last few months are resilient and my hope is that overcoming this final hurdle will finally help them get back on their feet.”