Tag Archives: Louisiana

Louisiana: State begins coast-wide effort to sustain fisheries hit by wetland erosion, restoration projects

State officials have embarked on a coast-wide effort to partner with the commercial and recreational fishing industry to find ways to make fishing more sustainable in the future, even as some state projects aimed at restoring coastal wetlands and land threaten fisheries and fishers. Representatives of Louisiana Sea Grant, the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority told members of the authority’s board on Wednesday (Dec. 12) that a joint fishing industry adaptation program begun earlier this year is aimed at listening to fishers and incorporating their ideas in any future adaptation plans. >click to read<12:22

Low shrimp prices are hurting local fisherman who blame imports

Local shrimpers are seeing some of the lowest shrimp prices in history, and most blame imported shrimp. Jimmie Dupré has been shrimping for 61 years. He says he plans to retire soon because the industry is taking a turn for the worst. He says, “We can’t get good prices and they drop every time they have an open season, they drop the prices. They claim it’s on the imports. Now, who imports the shrimp? The processors import the shrimp. And they keep saying well it imports if it’s the import shrimp stop importing the damn thing.” There’s been talk of shrimpers going on strike if prices don’t increase but Dupré says that won’t fix the problem. >click to read<09:35

Lawmakers urge more FDA inspections of imported seafood, win approval

An effort to increase the amount of imported seafood the U.S. inspects for health issues has crossed a hurdle in the Senate. Louisiana’s two Republican senators, John Kennedy and Bill Cassidy, won approval of a measure that would add $3.1 million the FDA’s budget for such testing. Shrimpers in Terrebonne and Lafourche, joined by their peers in other states, have pushed for the measure,, The group represents shrimp fishermen and processors in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. Video >click to read<17:48

Help sought from a higher authority to help shrimping crisis

Local shrimp fishermen and dealers say the industry’s prices are locally hitting some of the lowest points in nearly a decade, and warning of a market collapse if some kind of help is not forthcoming. What kind of help will do the most good has not been settled, but the industry’ voices will speak 4 p.m. Friday at the Lennox Hotard American Post at 602 Legion Drive in Houma. Among confirmed attendees is U.S. Sen. John Kennedy R-La. “I hope he can sit with us before the meeting so that we can explain what is going on with us,” said Louisiana Shrimp Association President Acey Cooper. Angela Portier of Chauvin,,, “We want to know if there Is anything he can do to help, is there anything he can do to help raise our shrimp prices,” she said. “We need a direct line to President Trump >click to read<09:39

Shrimpers pressured by import prices, seek legislative change

Charles Robin the third comes from a long line of commercial shrimpers. Robin said the shrimping community is struggling to stay afloat. “The way it is right now you gotta catch a boatload of shrimp every trip. If you don’t, you don’t even pay the bills. That’s all we’re doing is staying above water,” Robin said. Local fisherman say import prices are forcing them to lower prices.,, On top of competing with import prices, shrimpers are also forking out money to upkeep their boats. >click to read<09:56

Our Drowning Coast: Left to Louisiana’s tides, Jean Lafitte fights for time

Out toward the horizon, a fishing village appears on a fingerling of land, tenuously gripping the banks of a bending bayou. Just two miles north is the jagged tip of a fortresslike levee, a primary line of defense for New Orleans, whose skyline looms in the distance. Everything south of that 14-foot wall of demarcation, including the gritty little town of Jean Lafitte, has effectively been left to the tides. Jean Lafitte may be just a pinprick on the map, but it is also a harbinger of an uncertain future. As climate change contributes to rising sea levels, threatening to submerge land from Miami to Bangladesh, the question for Lafitte, as for many coastal areas across the globe, is less whether it will succumb than when — and to what degree scarce public resources should be invested in artificially extending its life. Video, images>click to read<21:20

Russian fish escaping into Louisiana waters? Sturgeon farming plan raises alarm

Nutria, feral hogs and Asian carp are just a few of the foreign invaders harming Louisiana’s marshes and rivers. Now the state is entertaining the idea of allowing the import and farming of sterlet sturgeon, a Russian fish currently banned in Louisiana. Why? The basic answer: its eggs are the food equivalent of gold, fetching prices of nearly $100 per ounce as top-shelf caviar. A plan under consideration by the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would permit the raising of the sterlet sturgeon, a major producer of caviar in the Caspian and Black Sea regions, in indoor pools. >click here to read< 12:14

Legislative Bills would open red snapper harvest out to at least 25 miles

Louisiana senators and representatives have introduced companion legislation in Congress that would give states management authority of red snapper out to 25 miles or 25 fathoms, whichever is greater, off their coastlines. Currently, states control red snapper out to nine nautical miles. Both Louisiana senators, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, introduced the bill in the Senate, while Reps. Garret Graves, Cedric Richmond and Clay Higgins joined seven other representatives to propose the House bill. The legislation is designed to ensure Gulf of Mexico anglers have broader access to rebounding red snapper stocks during 2018 and beyond. This year, the Commerce Department gave recreational anglers 39 additional days in federal waters after NOAA Fisheries set a three-day recreational season. That move is being contested in court, and without legislation to address the issue, recreational anglers could be locked out of the fishery in 2018. click here to read the story 16:01

More than a ton of shrimp seized from illegal shrimpers, as another one swims away!

The inshore shrimp season is currently closed in most of Louisiana, but the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it busted three shrimpers on two separate boats skimming for shrimp Thursday.  Agents cited Daniel Palmisano, 32, of Marrero, John Friedman Jr., 66, and Steve Rodi, 54, both of Buras, for using skimmers during a closed shrimp season. A total of 2,355 pounds of shrimp were seized by the agents and sold at the dock to the highest bidder, the department said. click here to read the story 10:07  Illegal shrimper jumps in water, swims away from agents – A Montegut man who fled twice from authorities, including Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents, turned himself in to the Lafourche and Terrebonne Sheriff’s Offices Thursday, the state agency reported. Mel Guidry, 37, had outstanding warrants for using butterfly nets during a closed season, taking commercial fish without a commercial license, commercial gear license and commercial vessel license, failing to tag butterfly nets while unattended, improper running lights, misrepresentation during issuance of a misdemeanor, flight from an officer and failing to complete trip tickets by a fishermen. click here to read the story

Louisiana Shrimp Fishermen Face New Challenges – White Spot Disease

The experience is not universal within the nation’s eight shrimp-producing states, nor even within Louisiana. That’s why some shrimpers suspect that undiagnosed trouble may lurk within the local fishery itself. At the tail end of this year’s crawfish season, white spot disease was detected in Louisiana ponds. It’s not too far a jump, some in the industry, to suspect contamination with the virus as a cause for decline. “Is it the same strain that is in the Asian shrimp that gets imported here?” said Acy Cooper, president of the Louisiana Shrimp Association.,,, Jeffrey Marx, the chief shrimp biologist at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is skeptical.,,, Fishermen want more research to be done, and some precautions to be taken, however. click here to read the story  for links about White Spot here and Australia click here 08:34

Louisiana Inshore Shrimp Season Discussion, Commision Meeting on Thursday to be live streamed

The opening dates for this year’s spring inshore shrimp season in Louisiana will be discussed at a meeting this Thursday. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will hold a commission meeting at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the department’s headquarters building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge. Ideal conditions for shrimp to grow are when temperatures rise above 68 degree and salt levels in the water are high. So far, conditions are favorable to open the season with good-sized shrimp, said Jeff Marx, biologist for the department, at a previous department meeting in April. Earlier this month, there was even talk of having a special meeting before May 4 to set the inshore shrimp season. The meeting will be streamed online (click here) for those who cannot attend in person. The full agenda and more information can be found online at wlf.louisiana.gov  click here to read the story 08:09

Illicit Business – Are Louisiana’s anglers selling their recreationally caught speckled trout?

When fish are getting yanked into the boat almost as quickly as an angler can get a lure in the water, the fun sometimes overcomes discretion, and that same angler will wonder what he’s going to do with all that meat after he fillets the fish. Some eat what they can and give the rest away, while others load up their freezers with fillets packed in Ziploc bags that they’ll throw out in two years. But another smaller minority will sell their catch to restaurants, seafood markets or acquaintances. It’s common dock talk among anglers that some of their cohorts have even put their kids through college with money raised from selling recreationally caught fish, particularly speckled trout. click here to read the story 15:24

Governor John Bel Edwards Appoints Jack Montoucet as Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Chief

Acadiana lawmaker Jack Montoucet has been appointed secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries by Gov. John Bel Edwards. Montoucet, 69, represents District 42 in the statehouse, which includes Acadia and Lafayette parishes. He has been a fierce ally of Edwards in the House. He officially takes over Jan. 16. Patrick Banks, assistant secretary of the office of fisheries, will serve as interim secretary until then. Montoucet will replace former Secretary Charlie Melancon, who was forced out by the administration. Melancon, a former congressman, clashed with recreational fishermen and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, over fisheries management since taking over as secretary. He also had a fractious relationship with some lawmakers for changes within the agency. Read the story here 11:23

Louisiana: Shrimp season’s start isn’t a happy one – Low prices and fewer shrimp

gulf brown shrimpShrimp season opened Monday. Observers say fishermen are caught between small catches and low prices. There are two shrimping seasons, spring and fall. Spring is considered the brown shrimp season, which opened Monday. “The season opened today, and the catch is way off from what it usually is,” commercial fisherman Rodney Olander said. “The grade is way smaller than what we usually open with and, as usual, the price is down on us.” Olander has worked as a commercial fisherman for 37 years. He docks his boat at Cypremort Point State Park and shrimps in Vermillion and Cote Blanche bays. That area usually produces more white shrimp than brown. “We’ve been sitting idle for the last six months, waiting for the season to open,” Olander said. “The season opens — there is not a lot of shrimp. The shrimp are small. And they plan on cutting the prices on us.” Read the story here 18:32

New state sales tax law takes Louisiana commercial fishermen by surprise

5703bda68278a.imageThe new schedule of items exempted from Louisiana sales taxes – and those which are not – includes loss of protection for people who buy antique airplanes and have other esoteric interests. But it also suspends, for now, the exemption on paying sales tax for commercial fishermen, on items like nets and other equipment essential to their trade. “Oh my God,” was the reaction offered by Trudy Luke of Houma, whose family buys crabs and seafood, and harvests the products as well. The same law that imposes the sales tax on commercial fishermen exempts racehorses and a slew of farm equipment and supplies, including fertilizer and seeds. Crawfish and catfish farms also retain their sales tax exemption on feed and supplies. Read the rest here 08:14

Louisiana stops issuing new crabbing licenses, citing overfishing

State stops issuing new crabbing licensesThe state has stopped issuing new commercial crab licenses due to overfishing, a move local crab wholesalers say has long been needed in an industry flooded with newcomers. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials declared an emergency Thursday following a low blue crab count. The decision “aims to prevent increased fishing pressure and mortality by temporarily prohibiting new entrants into the fishery until more permanent regulatory and legislative measures can be developed to address the reduced stock status,” Read the rest here 07:29

Small sizes temporarily closes shrimp seasons in Mississippi and Louisiana

louisiana shrimpThe Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is temporarily closing shrimping north of the Intracoastal Waterway in Mississippi waters at 6 a.m. on June 18. The closing will be in effect until MDMR sampling determines the shrimp count has reached the minimum legal size of 68 per pound. Yesterday, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries made a similar announcement. Shrimp season in most inshore waters will temporarily close on June 19. Read the rest here 15:10

Louisiana House moves turtle extruder shrimp-net rule moves forward unanimously

The Louisiana House took a great step forward on Wednesday when it unanimously passed a House Bill 688. The measure — if it passes and is signed into law by the governor — would remove a ridiculous law from Louisiana’s books. It is a step that can and should be taken. The current law prevents state Wildlife and Fisheries agents from enforcing federal laws requiring shrimp nets to have turtle excluder devices. The law was passed in the 1980s, when debate over the TEDs was at a fever pitch. Read the rest here 14:14

No NOAA Confidence! 5 Gulf States Propose Gulf State Red Snapper Management Authority

ast week, marine fishery directors from all five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico — the first time all of the states have collaborated — sent out a proposal to Congress to develop an independent body, Gulf State Red Snapper Management Authority. The group would approve each state’s management plan, coordinate population assessments, provide consistent accountability measures and distribute federal funding for research, assessment and management. Read the rest here 18:50

Louisiana has an ambitious $50 billion plan to fight coastal wetlands erosion. But will it work?

As Brig. Gen. Duke DeLuca wrapped up his 32-year career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in August, he contemplated the key to Louisiana’s massive, 50-year, $50 billion effort to prevent the southeastern portion of the state from being swallowed by the Gulf of Mexico. Read the rest here 10:49

New crab trappers in Louisiana need to be field trained

People looking to get into the crab harvesting business will now be required to participate in field training. New requirements for commercial crab trap gear licenses go into effect later this month and are part of a larger effort to improve the product and practices in various local fisheries. Read the rest here 08:49

Louisiana Inshore shrimp season closes Mon., few exceptions

Louisiana wildlife and fisheries regulators say the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Monday in state inside waters except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds and a portion of Mississippi Sound. Read more here 07:49

Louisiana: New Skimmer Net Regulations Take Effect August 1

Officials with The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that beginning August 1, as a result of Act No. 14 of the 2014 regular legislative session, Louisiana commercial shrimp fishermen are allowed to modify the dimensions of their skimmer nets. Read more here 16:39

Louisiana: Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters

Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in state inside waters west of the Mississippi River and in a portion of state outside waters effective Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at official sunset. Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include: [email protected]  11:27

Louisiana shrimper profits to suffer from light catch

“It doesn’t matter if shrimp is $10 a pound. If you don’t catch enough, it’s going to equal zero,” said Darrin Martin, who trawls and owns Martin’s Fresh Shrimp of La. 56 in Chauvin. “You can’t sell anything out of an empty barrel.” [email protected]  08:31

Massive tiger shrimp invaders likely have settled in Louisiana to stay

A recent study reports that the enormous shrimp invaders will become “established” in the Gulf of Mexico within 10 years. That means the species is becoming a self-sustaining, breeding population and was not just a sudden boom that soon will vanish. And, yes, the massive shellfish are edible. In fact, they are one of the most-farmed shrimp species worldwide. @nola.com

Louisiana senators attempting to push through a bill against the import of shrimp with EMS,

A number of countries, including the Philippines and Mexico, have banned shrimp imports from countries where EMS has been found. Louisiana state also wants to protect its domestic industry from growing annual imports of foreign shrimp. [email protected]

Judge voids snapper season curtailment saying the National Marine Fisheries Services was playing a twisted version of Robin Hood

A federal judge in Brownsville has struck down a federal emergency ruling to limit red snapper season in Texas, Louisiana and Florida, saying the National Marine Fisheries Services was playing a twisted version of a popular fictional character. Furthermore, if one looks at the actual poundage of red snapper caught, and if one takes this admittedly weak literary reference one step further, when comparing at least Louisiana and Texas with Alabama, the NMFS is doing just the opposite — it is robbing from the poor to give to the rich.”continued @ The Brownsville Herald