Feds ban fishing in more Gulf of Mexico waters because of creeping oil slick

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Fishing has been banned in more waters off Florida because of the creeping oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will close an additional 565 square miles to fishermen near Panama City, Fla., starting Saturday evening.

NOAA spokesman Kim Amendola (am-en-DOH'-luh) says the additional closure was necessary because forecasters anticipate oil from a leaking offshore well near Louisiana could drift into that area.

About 33 percent of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are now closed to fishing because of the spill.

It began after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded April 20 and ultimately sank, triggering an environmental disaster that has surpassed the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989.