GRAND ISLE, La. (AP) — Commercial fishermen are once again harvesting Gulf seafood off the coasts of Elmer's and Grand Terre islands, an area that's been closed due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reopened state waters surrounding the islands, some of the areas most significantly oiled, near Grand Isle Dec. 10.

Dean Blanchard, owner of Dean Blanchard Seafood in Grand Isle, tells The Courier it's a very big deal.

The first day back, one of Blanchard's boats, the Master Devin, caught a few thousand pounds of shrimp, proving their waiting wasn't in vain.

Wildlife and fisheries will continue to monitor marsh near Barataria Bay still closed to fishing after winter subsides for possible reopening.

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