...ongoing research suggests the federal closure of the richest portion of the Gulf to all fishing through the spring and summer months resulted in dramatic increases in the abundance of numerous marine creatures, from shrimp to sharks.It may be difficult to untangle the variables and estimate the true contribution of altered fishing patterns. No mention was made of bacteria breaking down the oil and whether the oil acted as a food source for these organisms which had upstream beneficial effects; I don't even know if such a theory is viable.
...Data collected this year shows a marked departure from previous years.
Valentine’s research, which consists of trawl surveys in Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and around the barrier islands shows a roughly threefold increase in what the nets captured after the spill compared to before, in terms of both the weight of the catch and the number of animals caught. Valentine said it was possible seasonal factors played a role in the changes in the data, though he believed the lack of fishing was the key.
What is interesting in the article is the incredulity of many interviewees. It seems the biosphere is more resilient than many give it credit, and appropriate stewardship of our resources—in this case fishing quotas—is what is required. This is not to say that the region was being over fished, we need data informing us what the maximal sustainable catch is.