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earth-drowing-in-oilTAMPA — The oil spill in the northern Gulf has shut down fishing from the Mississippi River to the Florida Panhandle but has had little effect so far on local fisheries and shipping lines. As the immense blob of oil gets closer to the Gulf of Mexico’s Loop Current, the anxiety grows for people in the Tampa Bay area who ply those waters for a living. Jason Prieto owns Steady Action Fishing Charters in Gibsonton and books fishing trips in the shallow waters off the coasts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. He says, the oil, should it reach Tampa Bay, would destroy the ecosystems of the red fish, trout, mackerel, tarpon and other species that shallow-water boat charters thrive on.
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