Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a senior member of the Florida Congressional Delegation, is concerned the fisheries closure announced by NOAA will further devastate an already battered commercial and recreational fishing industry in the Florida Keys and South Florida.
Statement from Ros-Lehtinen:
"An astonishing 37% of the Gulf of Mexico is now closed to fishing because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The economic effects this will have on commercial and recreational fishing interests as well as all businesses in the Florida Keys and in South Florida will be too much to bear for many families.
I am urging the Small Business Administration to follow the lead of the Commerce Department and declare the Florida Keys as a disaster area so that affected businesses can be eligible for disaster loans. BP must also do its part and accelerate the loan approval process. It is criminally unjust that countless families throughout my Congressional District, as well as other municipalities throughout the Gulf coast, are the ones paying the price because of the oil spill in the Gulf.
Already suffering because of the economic downturn, these mom and pop businesses are now being faced with a total economic wipeout. The federal government and BP must help those affected and they must do it now."