According to a Notice of Intent( NOI ) that was adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on October 5, Louisiana’s redfish and anglers looking for them may no longer compete with the industrial menhaden fishery in the Gulf in nearshore areas.
In our TF & G Report, we published a news brief on that.
The commission issued an NOI establishing a minimum 1 hour coastwide cushion for the state’s fish in response to several online spills by two commercial pogie boat operators in September near Holly and Rutherford beaches, which resulted in an estimated 850, 000 menhaden and hundreds of redfish killed. A 3 hour cushion was needed between Holly. The pilot may expand a quarter-mile-wide area that is currently off-limits to commercial pogie boats, which was built this season. Additionally, the NOI specifies more severe penalties and monitoring standards for upcoming online spills.
The NOI will be available for additional people opinion as part of the necessary procedure for regulatory shift in Louisiana, and it must still go through state House and Senate Natural Resources Committee evaluation before being approved in early 2024.
Famous Louisiana types like redfish and mottled fish depend heavily on Gulf menhaden, also known as pogies. However, the commercial pogie fish harvests close to 1 billion pounds of pokegies annually, primarily from Louisiana waterways. Pogie boats have so far been permitted to fish shallows more than 500 yards from Louisiana’s shorelines, stirring up sand with their enormous seine nets and causing damage to both classic sportfish populations and delicate seaside habitats. Redfish, which spawn and congregate in these areas, have caused fishing the most worry.
Since years, the outdoor hunting community has raised concerns about the industry’s effects on shorelines and sportfish populations while also accepting increasingly strict size and creel restrictions on redfish and speckled trout.
According to Chris Macaluso, director of the Center for Marine Fisheries for the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership,” this represents a major step forward in the protection and control of Louisiana’s fishing.” The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has fortunately acknowledged that the concerns of anglers and proponents of protection are true and that foreign-owned, business pogie fishing boats are necessary to protect Louisiana’s coastal habitats. This is a significant victory for redfish, speckled trout, salmon, dolphins, brown pelicans, and many other fish and wildlife, as well as for those who value and enjoy Louisiana’s beach.
According to David Cresson, executive director and CEO of the Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana,” We thank the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission for taking this good step towards protecting our fragile coastlines and the fish and wildlife that live there.” ” The commissioners’ activity last week, as well as many Louisiana legislators who supported it, was a great display of management.” As the NOI progresses through the method and these much-needed rules are finalized, it is imperative that we remain diligent and focused.
The Louisiana fish may soon join the ranks of the other Gulf claims that have expanded menhaden protection regulations under the agency’s direction. The commission’s vote last week was hailed by recreational fishing and conservation organizations as a significant positive step forward in protecting redfish and the state coast, even though they are still committed to establishing an empirically based capture control on menhaden in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has received praise from the hundreds of small business entrepreneurs who make up the Louisiana Charter Boat Association for its recommendation of stronger menhaden rules, and we applaud the commission’s endorsement of these suggestions. Today’s vote was a significant step in the right direction, even though more work needs to be done to make sure that this Notice of Intent becomes laws, according to Richard Fischer, senior director of the Louisiana Charter Boat Association. ” Many organizations worked together for years to reach this point, and tomorrow’s outcome would not have been possible without our committed and coordinated work. We sincerely appreciate each and every partnership member who contributed to today’s vote.
” Menhaden, including tarpon, are important prey species for some sportfish.” According to Kellie Ralston, vice president for protection and public policy for the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust, the organization appreciates the subsequent actions taken by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to increase protections for menhaden and to protect vulnerable coastal environments. To ensure the Louisiana menhaden fishery’s long-term sustainability, we look forward to working with LDWF and our protection partners.
According to Martha Guyas, Southeast Fisheries Policy Director for the American Sportfishing Association,” Good ecosystems and fish populations are essential to Louisiana’s anglers’ and recreational fishing companies.” ” ASA applauds the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission for taking this significant action to lessen the effects of the business menhaden fish on coastal assets.”
According to Brett Fitzgerald, senior director of the Angler Action Foundation,” This is fantastic news for menhaden, the recreational fishing of Louisiana, and the local firms they support.” The region’s gamefish and their feed fish can then focus on and receive additional protections that are required. Some owing to everyone who put a lot of effort into this crucial matter.