Tag Archives: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Louisiana Shrimping Industry Faces Uncertain Future in 2023

Shrimpers now face some of the lowest prices they have ever seen due to massive amounts of shrimp being imported from overseas, according to Larose-based trade group Louisiana Shrimp Association. Acy Cooper Jr, the Louisiana Shrimp Association’s president, says the math around shrimp imports are simply not in the Louisiana shrimp industry’s favor. With Louisiana able to meet roughly 25% of the overall U.S. shrimp market demand – shrimp importers from countries like Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia have brought to market more shrimp than the United States will typically consume each year, driving the price on the open market for Louisiana shrimp lower and lower. >click to read< 13:53

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Close December 19 in Portions of State Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the 2022 fall inshore shrimp season will close in all state inside waters on Monday, December 19, 2022, at official sunset, except for the following inside waters east of the Mississippi River: Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, a section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Orleans parish from the GIWW East Closure Sector Gate westward to the GIWW intersection with the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal, and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as bounded by the double-rig line described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2. All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in LAC 76:VII.370 will remain open to shrimping until further notice. Map, >click to read< 11:08

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Delcambre man for alleged shrimping violations

Agents cited Jimmie Dupre Jr., 48, for failing to return serviceable trap to the water, trawling inside waters with oversized nets, taking commercial fish without a commercial gear license and vessel license. Agents were on patrol in West Cote Blanche Bay when they encountered a Dupre Jr. operating a shrimping vessel.  During an inspection, agents found that Dupre Jr. did not possess a commercial gear license or vessel license.  He was also in possession of two trawls that were over the legal size limit of 25 foot long and two serviceable crab traps on the deck of the vessel. Agents seized two shrimp trawls, two crab traps, one shrimping vessel on seizure order and 1,943 pounds of shrimp. >click to read< 10:45

Fishing for Solutions: The race to protect coastal Louisiana’s cultures and way of life

The seafood and fishing industry provides tens of thousands of jobs to Louisiana, many of them via small family businesses in coastal communities. And while dealing with the impacts of climate change, local fishers and shrimpers also are contending with imported products driving down prices, fuel costs, fisheries allocations, regulatory constraints and an aging workforce. Local fishers in recent years have been grappling with skyrocketing insurance rates as well, making it harder to recover once the storm has passed. Photos, >click to read< 09:09

Oil spill in Terrebonne Bay on opening day of shrimp season causes grief for fishermen

A Terrebonne Bay oil spill on the first day of Louisiana’s inshore shrimp season has taken a toll on some local fishermen, who say they received no warning of the incident until many hours after it occurred and as a result ended up with fouled nets and oiled boats. The Coast Guard said it was notified through the National Response Center at 3:01 a.m. Monday that a tank platform collapsed at the Hilcorp Caillou Island facility in Terrebonne Bay. “I went out on the opening and I kept pushing all that night,” said Terrebonne Parish shrimper John Sophin. “I didn’t know about the spill, nobody warned me, I didn’t know where it was at.” >click to read< 08:54

$4.2 million federal grant seeks to help Louisiana seafood processors recoup COVID losses

Louisiana will receive a $4.2 million federal grant to help seafood processors recover losses sustained during the ongoing COVID pandemic. It’s part of a $50 million allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to about two dozen coastal states announced Monday. The aid comes from a $2.3 trillion bipartisan bill approved by Congress and then President Donald Trump in December 2020. It combined $900 million in COVID stimulus money with $1.4 trillion to fund various federal agencies. The USDA has not detailed specifics about how the latest aid will be distributed to seafood processors. >click to read< 08:32

Louisiana Fishing Industry Suffered $579 Million in Damages Due to 2020-21 Hurricanes

Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Zeta, and Ida, which swept through Louisiana during various points in 2020 and 2021, resulted in an estimated $579 million in losses to the state’s fisheries infrastructure, revenues, and biological resources, according to a study by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, LSU and Louisiana Sea Grant. The study’s findings, released today, analyzes monetized losses to fisheries infrastructure (including vessels), sales or gross revenue, and resources losses to fish and oysters. The study also projects financial losses that are continuing into 2022. >click to read< 10:14

Massive, unexplained bivalve die-off sends many Louisiana oystermen back to square one

Mitch Jurisich, a third-generation oysterman, dropped a long pair of oyster tongs into the Gulf of Mexico and lightly raked the water bottom. When he brought up his catch, all but one were dead. The more resilient hooked mussels, typically found clustered along the area’s oyster reefs, had suffered the same fate. The stench of rotting bivalves filled the air. “That’s the smell of death,” Jurisich said. Early this month, millions of pounds of oysters in leases that line Plaquemines Parish’s west bank were found dead, their mouths agape. It’s unclear why. >click to read< 10:15

Gov. Edwards announces program to help Louisiana shrimpers

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the creation of a $250,000 program that will pay part of the cost shrimp fishermen will have to pay for mandated devices to protect sea turtles and other animals from getting trapped in their nets. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will operate the Skimmer Turtle Excluder Device Reimbursement Program (STEDRP), which will reimburse up to 60 percent of the cost for two skimmer Turtle Excluder Devices, commonly called TEDs. >click to read< 12:02

LDWF estimate: Louisiana fishing industry sustained $258M in losses during historic flooding

The Louisiana fishing industry suffered an estimated $258 million in losses due to the historic 2019 flooding event, according to a fisheries disaster economic impact analysis conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Governor John Bel Edwards announced today (11/15). The analysis was submitted to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for helping the state qualify for its portion of the $165 million in fisheries disaster assistance currently available on the federal level. >click to read<  14:06

‘It’s grim.’ After spring floods, Louisiana oyster harvest slows to a trickle

Fall is when Louisiana normally begins harvesting a torrent of oysters. This year, the torrent is barely a trickle. Restaurants have resorted to rationing. They’re reaching far beyond their normal local supply chains to get whatever boxes and sacks of oysters they can find, revising menus and tapping stockpiles of frozen product to keep fried oysters on their po-boys and seafood platters. Many in the business are calling the shortage the worst they’ve ever seen, worse than the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 or the BP oil spill disaster in 2010, both of which devastated the local industry. Photo’s  >click to read< 08:29

Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries: report of loss linked to Bonnet Carre Spillway opening

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it in my life,” Shrimper Charles Robin said. Robin is a shrimper in Yscloskey. He said his catch dropped by more than half this year compared to last. “Last year on average I’d catch a thousand or 1,200 pounds a day on a slow day. Now, you can’t even catch 500 pounds,” Robin said. According to Wildlife and Fisheries, brown shrimp landings are down 34 to 44 percent compared to the five year average. St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said he’s actively pushing for an Emergency Fisheries Declaration in Washington, D.C.  Video, >click to read<16:33

Katrina, BP, 2019 Mississippi River — Oyster Industry Braces For Another Major Disaster

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River. Commercial oysterman Mitch Jurisich is picking through a pile of freshly harvested oysters at a dock in Empire, Louisiana. One hand clutches an oyster knife, the other grabs a bivalve from the top of the mound. “This one’s good right here,” he says before tossing it aside and picking up another. “This one’s not good.” Audio, >click to read< 20:28

Workshop aims to get more women to fish

Women make up just a quarter of the fishing licenses that the department sells each year. Around the country, only about 34 percent of people who participate in any kind of fishing are women, according to a report published in 2018 by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation.,,, David said the department holds the workshop about twice a year, though she wished they could do it every weekend.,,, 43 photo’s, >click to read< 12:09

La. crabbers, fishers ask for federal aid amid spillway openings

The Louisiana Crab Task Force met Tuesday (June 4) in Chalmette to discuss the issues facing the commercial crabbing industry as a result of the spillway openings. The group motioned to work with other seafood industry task forces to write a joint letter requesting federal help. Dozens of fishermen attended the meeting, voicing their concerns about how the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway is affecting their livelihoods. A spokesperson with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said they have been monitoring the water quality and reports of fish kills. >click to read<21:43

Louisiana Shrimp Season to Open May 20 in the Remaining State Outside Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the portion of state outside waters between the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island westward to western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal shall reopen to shrimping at 6:00 a.m. on May 20, 2019.  The area to open is defined as follows: >click to read<10:48

Louisiana: Shrimp Season to Open April 25 in a Portion of State Outside Waters

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced that the portion of state outside waters between Calliou Boca and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island shall reopen to shrimping at 12:00 p.m. on April 25, 2019. The closure area is defined as follows: >click to read<Recent biological sampling conducted by the department has indicated that small white shrimp, which have over-wintered in these waters from January through the present time, have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary.11:30

Bayou Region Shrimpers hope blessings are on the way

A blessing of boats in Chauvin Sunday marked the continuation of a sacred tradition in the Bayou Region, as anticipation grows for word that the fleets of various communities can move out onto the water and lower their nets. If preliminary estimates continue on their course, that could happen sooner than later. Biologists for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported at a meeting last week that early tests show the potential for a sizeable crop this year. >click to read<10:18

Houma man cited on shrimping violations

A Houma man was cited last week for alleged shrimping violations on Nov. 9 in Pointe-Aux-Chenes. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries cited Dwayne T. Hotard, 44, who is accused of illegally taking commercial fish, taking commercial fish without a vessel license, blocking the passage of fish, possessing over the limit of shrimp on a Wildlife Management Area and being in a Wildlife Management Area after hours. Around 5:15 p.m. Nov. 9, agents received a complaint about a net that was stretched across a flood control structure,, click here to read the story 11:42

Biloxi Man Cited for Illegal Shrimping Violation in Breton Sound

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement agents cited a Biloxi man on Nov. 7 for allegedly shrimping in state waters with illegal turtle exclusion device’s (TED). Agents were patrolling in Breton Sound conducting a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol when they found a shrimping vessel in Breton Sound.  Agents made contact with the captain, Canh Huu Nguyen, 37, and performed a license compliance check and TED inspection. During the inspection, agents measured the two TEDS installed in the vessels two large nets and found them both out of compliance with state and federal regulations. click here to read the story 16:07

Louisiana: New restrictions create burden for local crabbers

For Whitney Curole of Des Allemands, being a fisherman is an “always” kind of thing — he’s been a crabber since his teenage years, following in the footsteps of his father, and that passion for fishing runs throughout his entire family. But all of that experience nonetheless doesn’t mean it’s not hard sometimes.  This year was the first in which the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries placed restrictions on blue crab harvest in an effort to restore the blue crab’s population in state waters.  “I fought against (the initial one-month ban),” said Curole, who catches crabs and ships them all over the country and who retails crabs himself through his family business in Donaldsonville. click here to read the story 09:05

Coast Guard, partner agencies search for missing fisherman in the Gulf

The Coast Guard is searching for a missing man who was last seen aboard a fishing vessel approximately 37 miles southwest of Morgan City, Louisiana, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Sunday. The missing man is reported to be Vietnamese and wearing a t-shirt and sweat pants. The vessel identified through inquiry is F/V Miss Quinh Chi II. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received the report of the missing person at approximately 11:30 p.m. and directed the launch of Coast Guard Cutter Skipjack, an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile to search for the man. Marine units from Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office are also on scene searching for the man. –USCG– 15:34

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

White spot – Shellfish disease unlikely to become major threat to shrimp

A shellfish killing disease discovered in crawfish ponds around Louisiana about a month ago isn’t as likely to be a major threat to the shrimp population, state officials say. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Jeff Marx said the virus is most likely in wild populations, but it shouldn’t affect wild shrimp as much as the crawfish because shrimp aren’t in contained spaces like crawfish are. Although the disease has only been found in crawfish, it could also infect shrimp and crabs in coastal estuaries, according to a report by the LSU Ag Center. Shrimp and crab will be tested for the virus. click here to read the story 14:57

Unlikely to become a major threat? They thought that in Queensland. Australia: Fears grow as white spot detected in crab in Logan River, click here for more info.

Recreational IFQ’s? Louisiana wants to give 150 anglers almost unlimited access to red snapper

Despite vehement opposition from recreational-fishing advocacy groups, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it has worked up a pilot program that will award a significant portion of the state’s red snapper haul to select recreational anglers. The department announced the plan in a Thursday afternoon press release, just one day after meeting with pro-recreational fishing groups and mentioning nothing about the program. The structure would be similar to what exists in the commercial sector, where fishers have been awarded percentages of the overall commercial quota, and may harvest their red snapper at any time during the year. The system, called individual fishing quotas, has been panned by recreational-fishing organizations as well as good-government groups because it has set up so-called Sea Lords, who own quota and make hundreds of thousands of dollars on a public resource without ever leaving the dock. click here to read this story 20:20

New calendar check could be needed for shrimp seasons

This year’s brown shrimp season is in full swing, with boats small and large trawling and skimming the bayous, lakes and canals of Louisiana’s central coast since 6 a.m. Monday. Early reports were somewhat encouraging, but there are indications that policy-makers will need to consider more flexibility when charting seasons to come. “If we have another warm February or March we will be giving everybody a heads up,” said Jeffrey Marx, the biologist who manages the shrimp program for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “It is pretty much a year-to-year thing.” click here to read the story 16:07

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

Two inshore shrimpers busted for fishing during closed season, one with running lights off

Due to the unseasonably warm winter and spring, brown shrimp have grown quickly in Louisiana’s marshes, and some shrimpers have been trying to get a jump on their competition. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries agents say they busted two shrimpers Saturday who were using skimmer nets in English Bay near Buras even though the inshore season won’t open for several more weeks. According to the department, the men were pulling their nets at 10:30 p.m. without the boat’s navigation lights on. Agents cited John Berthelot, 37, of Covington, and Juan Cruz, 38, of Marrero, for using skimmers during a closed season. Agents also cited Berthelot for improper navigation lights. click here to read the story 10:08

Getting a Jump on the Competition! Two busted for shrimping in closed state waters

Two shrimpers got a jump on their competition Friday by dropping nets in an area where the season hasn’t opened yet, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported Monday. Enforcement agents say they spotted Hoang Nguyen, 55, of Katy, Texas, and Nile Franklin, 52, of Gretna actively shrimping inside state waters southeast of Marsh Island Refuge. The area is in Iberia Parish. Agents boarded the boat and found shrimp onboard as well as shrimp in the nets, the department said. The live shrimp were returned to the water, but the 3,409 pounds of sacked shrimp found onboard were seized and sold at the dock, according to the department. continue reading the story here 09:52