NOAA opens 16K square miles of fishing area in Gulf after no oil spotted

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — More than 16,000 square miles of fishing waters off the Florida coast are reopening after officials said Gulf oil did not move into the area.

The most significant reopening is a nearly 14,000-square mile area just west of the Florida Keys and Dry Tortugas. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration closed the area Wednesday as a precaution.

Additionally, the agency closed a 2,275-square mile area off the Florida Panhandle.

The total closed area now is more than 78,000 square miles, which is about 32 percent of Gulf of Mexico federal waters.