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Fishing Resumes In 45 Miles Of Water Off Orange County Coast Previously Closed Due To October Oil Spill

DANA POINT (CBSLA) - Fishing along 45 miles of the Orange County coastline has reopened, after it was closed because of an oil spill off of Huntington Beach in October.

There were a lot of happy anglers baiting their hooks and setting their traps now that the fishery has opened again.

"We look forward to it all year and didn't get to do it for, what, three months or two months," lobster fisherman Brian Caughlin said.

Katrina Foley, from the Orange County Board of Supervisors, said the environmental health office worked closely with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to ensure that that the marine life being fished and caught was safe to consume.

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Nov. 30, 2021

Some commercial fisherman prepped all night to be ready for the reopening of the waters. Jon's Fish Market at the Dana Point Harbor is expecting some of the spiny lobster that will be caught on Tuesday.

"I have a lot of empathy for the fisherman because we're all very close, we're all like family. So, it's been really hard to watch them not getting work. They didn't have very much information to go on, so they couldn't really go find other work," Shala Mansur, co-owner of Jon's, said.

For eight weeks, Mansur had to buy lobster and other fish from out of the area, which has been more difficult and more costly, but as of Tuesday, all that ends.

"Not only did we miss the local calico bass, sand bass fishing, we've lost out on our rock fishing and we lost out on that expectation of lobster on the plate from our lobster opener. So, it's been a burden on a lot of people and especially the fishing community," said boat captain Todd Mansur.

Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching lost about $150,000 in business during the spill. Its first boat with 30 fisherman onboard was back in local waters Tuesday.

"They're just so excited,' said Donna Kalez, with Dana Wharf Sportfishing. "So, it's hurt us that we had to cancel trips, but it's really hurt them and their demeanor and they're so excited."

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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