No oil here! The weather’s great and the fishing’s even better!

Captain’s Blog – May 12, 2010, Marathon Florida Keys – We’re oil free and full of  fish!

The weather’s hot and the fishing’s even hotter!  Tarpon are screaming at the bridges.  The big bull and cow dolphin are moving in.  The grouper and snapper are munching everything in sight.  And, the sharks are showing their teeth!  Come on down for some great Florida Keys fishing!

News Flash from the Monroe County Tourist Development Council:

Officials at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, the U.S. Coast Guard and Monroe County Emergency Management continue to monitor developments at the site of the Transocean/BP Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil leaks in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

According to Florida’s emergency management office, as of Wednesday morning there are no impacts forecast for the next 72 hours to any part of the state of Florida and likely much longer for the Keys.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration models, prepared through Friday, show the oil slick still positioned to the north of the Gulf’s Loop Current.

As of Wednesday morning, the southern edge of the slick was projected to be about 70 miles to the north of the loop current and that distance is projected to increase.

The Gulf Loop Current is a clockwise current that carries water from the Yucatan Channel north into the Gulf of Mexico, then back down south off Florida’s west coast, past the Dry Tortugas and intersecting into the Gulf Stream.

In the Transocean/BP spill, the current plays a crucial role because of concerns if oil gets into the Loop Current, it could be swept to the south, possibly into or around the Keys and possibly carried by the Gulf Stream to other areas of Florida and the U.S. east coast.

If oil enters the current, the travel time for it to get to the Dry Tortugas vicinity should be about four days. The Tortugas begin about 70 miles to the west of Key West.

But on the Sunday edition of CBS’s “Face the Nation,” U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen said officials currently think there is a low probability the oil will reach the Loop Current.

“That (Loop Current) is significantly south of the southern edge of the spill right now,” said Allen, who is in charge of the government’s involvement in the disaster. “It does not appear to be a threat right now.”

Currently, there are no advisories recommending against travel to the Florida Keys or any other precautions advising not to engage in fishing, diving, swimming or other water sports. Florida Keys-waters seafood is safe to eat.

Federal, state and local environmental and emergency management agencies have met several times to review mitigation strategies if a response to an oil threat is required for the Keys.

But likelihood, timing, location or extent of impacts, if any, is impossible to accurately project at this time. All threats to the Keys will likely cease once the oil leaks, 5,000 feet on the bottom of the sea, are plugged.

Additional details on efforts to mitigate the incident are on these official Web sites:

deepwaterhorizonresponse.com
noaa.gov

epa.gov/bpspill

More than 40 web cams streaming live video from the Keys’ waters, shorelines and area attractions are also available for the public to view.

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