Oil Spill

LDWF Reopens Commercial and Recreational Fishing within a Portion of Coastal Waters Adjacent to Elmer’s Island

Release Date: 12/05/2013

map

(Dec. 5, 2013) -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced today a reopening of commercial and recreational fishing within a portion of coastal waters adjacent to Elmer’s Island in Jefferson Parish. 
 
The area reopened by this announcement includes that portion of state outside waters beginning one-half mile seaward from the inside/outside shrimp line seaward a distance of one mile from the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at -90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at -90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
 
The closure area had previously included a one-mile buffer established in an abundance of caution for public safety following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The area has been reopened to establish consistency with other oil spill related closures in state outside waters, and it shows no visible surface oil and no known oil residues in the area.
 
The department with its partners -- the US Food and Drug Administration, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals -- will continue to evaluate the potential for future openings using the established protocols.
 
The area was most recently closed in September 2012 when Hurricane Isaac exposed large oil mats and tar balls along the shoreline of this area. A map of the revised closure area adjacent to Elmer’s Island is posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
 
For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at 225-765-2384 or hblanchet@wlf.la.gov.

 

State Extends Fishery Closure to East Grand Terre

Release Date: 06/28/2013

June 28, 2013 – Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a fisheries closure effective immediately for additional areas of Grand Terre Islands.
 
Tar mats located during ongoing surveys were removed this week in the intertidal and subtidal areas of Grand Terre Islands.  Some of those mats were in areas that are already closed, however some additional closures were required. 
 
The area closed is as follows:
 
That portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one-half mile from the shoreline from the southwestern shore of east Grand Terre at -89 degrees 54 minutes 04 seconds west longitude; thence eastward along the shoreline to the southeastern shore of Grand Terre at -89 degrees 51 minutes 39 seconds west longitude; thence eastward along 29 degrees 18 minutes 46 seconds north latitude to -89 degrees 51 minutes 19 seconds west longitude.
 
Effective with the closure, no person shall take/possess or attempt to take any species of fish for commercial purposes from waters within the closed area.  The possession, sale, barter, trade or exchange of any fish or other aquatic life from the closed area during the closure is prohibited. 
 
All commercial fishing is prohibited in the closed areas. Recreational fishing is limited to recreational rod and reel fishing which includes licensed charter boat guides.
Prohibited Commercial Fishing Activities:

  • shrimping
  • trawling
  • skimming
  • butterflying
  • crabbing
  • flounder and garfish gigging
  • cast netting
  • oyster harvesting
  • gill netting
  • hoop netting
  • minnow trapping
  • rod and reeling
  • jug lining
  • bow and arrow
  • purse seining
  • set lining
  • spear gunning

Prohibited Recreational Fishing Activities:

  • crabbing
  • shrimping
  • flounder gigging
  • cast netting
  • bait seining
  • bow fishing
  • spearing
  • snagging
  • dip netting

Closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists and staff. 
 
Click here for a map detailing this closure:
 
 To view the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit:  www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 
 

 

LDWF Closes a Portion of Coastal Waters Due to the Emergence of Oil on Adjacent Beaches

Release Date: 09/05/2012

LDWF Closes a Portion of Coastal Waters Due to the Emergence of Oil on Adjacent Beaches

(Sept. 5, 2012)– Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced an emergency closure of a portion of coastal waters due to the emergence of a large tar mat and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches, effective September 4.  This action was taken in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, who will assist with the investigation to determine the extent, source, and impacts of the oil in the environment. 
The area affected by this emergency closure includes the portion of state outside waters seaward a distance of one mile from the shoreline from the eastern shore of Belle Pass at 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude eastward to the western shore of Caminada Pass at 90 degrees 02 minutes 46.6 seconds west longitude.
The only fishing activity allowed in the closed area is recreational, rod and reel (hook and line) fishing for finfish.  The following activities are prohibited:

  • all commercial fishing
  • recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs and oysters

The harvest of live bait by wholesale/retail seafood dealers who hold a special bait dealers permit and who harvest live bait for sale to recreational fishermen exclusively is also permitted. 
In addition to this closure, certain areas are still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.
For press inquiries regarding fisheries closures contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 765-2396.  For press inquiries regarding investigation of the presence of oil, contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@la.gov or (225) 241-5707.

LDWF Announces More Fishing Openings

Release Date: 04/26/2011

Map of Openings 4/26/11

Over 99.4 percent of state waters now open for fishing

April 26, 2011 - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of recreational and commercial fishing in portions of state inside and outside waters within the Barataria Basin that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.  These areas were opened previously to only recreational and charter boat angling. 

“By working so closely with our state and federal partners we can continue to ensure consumers of Louisiana seafood that it is safe,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Today we are one step closer to resuming normal fishing practices.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Recreational and commercial fishing reopens immediately today in certain portions of state inside waters adjacent to Grand Terre Island, Four Bayou Pass and the Barataria Waterway.

This reopening does not include the harvest of species closed by season, including shrimp and certain finfish. 

Furthermore, this opening does not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

 

HBO Documentary Tracks Pelican Rescue Mission During Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response

Release Date: 04/19/2011

April 19, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ (LDWF) biologists and technicians were on the front line of wildlife rescue a year ago in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster.

Bird rescue was a primary mission of LDWF’s Coastal and Nongame Resources Division, and one of the birds rescued and rehabilitated, and then returned to Louisiana’s coastal marshes was a brown pelican, tagged number 895 when recovered from oiled state waters last July. The story of that bird was documented by a film crew and that story is now an HBO Documentary Film, SAVING PELICAN 895, which will premiere on HBO on April 20, the anniversary of the rig explosion.

“It’s a remarkable story detailing the efforts of government agencies, conservationists, and wildlife activists joining together to preserve fragile species impacted by oil,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “The significance of that effort is even more special since the brown pelican, our state bird, had just been removed from the federal Threatened and Endangered Species list in 2009.”

The film, produced and directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky, provides a detailed look at one facet of what went on over the course of many months to overcome the threat of oil to the state’s coastal marsh ecosystem.

Working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel and partners that included out of state animal rescue specialists and veterinarians, plus National Audubon Society staff and volunteers, LDWF and pooled resources collectively recovered 4,978 birds from Louisiana’s coastal marshes and waterways. Over 1,500 of that total were oiled, but alive when recovered, and 1,116 of those made it through rehabilitation to be released back into the wild. Other state partners involved in the oiled bird rehabilitation included the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, and Louisiana State Animal Response Team.

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov; or Mike Hopper at 214-356-5430 or mike.hopper@hbo.com.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

LDWF Announces Major Commercial Fishing Reopening

Release Date: 04/11/2011

Closure Map

Over 99 percent of state waters now opened for fishing

April 11, 2011 - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing in portions of state, inside waters within the Mississippi River Delta that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.

“While the effects of the oil spill will continue to affect our state for years to come, we are as confidant as ever in the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, the most-tested seafood in the world,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Today marks an important step in the journey to a full recovery for fishermen who depend on these resources for their livelihood and I am happy to report that over 99 percent of Louisiana’s waters are open to fishing.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Commercial fishing reopens immediately today in the portions of state inside waters between the eastern shore of Southwest Pass and the southern shore of North Pass of the Mississippi River. 

This reopening does not include shrimp harvesting, as the shrimp season in these waters has not been opened. 

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Documents: 

LDWF Investigates Two New Reports of Oiling

Release Date: 03/21/2011

LDWF conducts sampling on oil slick south of Grand Isle and impacted shoreline at Elmer’s Island

March 21, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is investigating two reports of oiling off the Louisiana coast received this weekend. Samples are being collected and analyzed by Louisiana State University’s School of the Coast and Environment.

Saturday morning, the U.S. Coast Guard received reports of an oil sheen south of Grand Isle, La. In addition to an investigation ongoing by the Coast Guard, LDWF officials are sampling the suspected oil sheen for analysis and fingerprinting. Samples taken by LDWF are being submitted to a laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Analysis will determine if the substance is oil and, if so, if it is from the Deepwater Horizon MC252 oil spill; this analysis is called fingerprinting. Results from this analysis will be available tomorrow, Tuesday, March 22.

Suspected oiling was also reported to LDWF officials this weekend at Elmer’s Island, a 230-acre tract of barrier beachfront located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish, and at Fourchon Beach in Lafourche Parish.

Samples from suspected oil at Elmer’s were collected by LDWF officials on Sunday afternoon and are being analyzed by the same laboratory at LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment. Results from the analysis will also be available tomorrow.

State officials are on scene at Elmer's Island with sorbents, barges and air boats as response efforts are conducted. LDWF officials this weekend requested absorbent boom from the Coast Guard for impacted areas. While only a portion of the boom has been utilized along a breach of the shoreline at Elmer’s Island, 12,000 feet of boom is on site. State officials have also requested skimmers from the Coast Guard.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on, please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)610-8660 or atowatkins@wlf.la.gov.  

Governor Jindal Announces State Investing $12 Million in Emergency Restoration Funding for Louisiana Coast, Not Waiting for BP

Release Date: 03/01/2011

March 1, 2011 - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal joined coastal parish leaders and members of the fishing and oyster industries to announce $12 million in emergency restoration funding to help Louisiana’s coastline recover from the effects of the BP oil spill. This funding total includes $2 million to reestablish oyster beds in public seed grounds, $5 million for shoreline stabilization by engineered shoreline reefs, and $5 million to reestablish vegetation and sand fencing for approximately ten miles of oil-impacted shoreline. 

The Governor stressed that the state has repeatedly requested emergency restoration funding from BP to reestablish oyster beds, plant vegetation killed by oil and stabilize eroding shorelines resulting from the spill – but BP has refused to provide upfront funding for these efforts. 

Governor Jindal said, “We have met with BP on many occasions. Indeed, we have repeatedly requested emergency restoration funding from BP to reestablish oyster beds, plant vegetation killed by oil and stabilize eroding shorelines resulting from the spill. But, time and time again, BP has refused to front funding for these critical emergency restoration efforts. Today, yet again, we are here to tell BP that we need action, not talk. Just like during the response to the oil spill, when we were promised resources and assistance that always seemed to be too little, too late – today, we are again here to take our own action and not let more of our oystermen, fishermen, families, communities or businesses suffer as we wait for BP to act.

“That’s why we are announcing today that we are moving forward to immediately dedicate $12 million in funding toward emergency restoration actions to help our people and industries get back on their feet after this environmental catastrophe. We expect all $12 million to be replenished by BP as soon as they ‘make it right’ with our coastal communities by fully covering losses from this tragic spill. Today’s announcement is just the first step and much more work needs to be done by BP to ensure our coast is fully restored. I have no doubt that we will come back from the effects of this spill stronger than ever before. But, we cannot afford to wait. Our recovery demands action, and we are taking an important step toward restoring our coast today. We urge BP to follow our lead and replenish these funds as quickly as possible.”

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said, “For months we’ve spoken with BP about the need to invest in our recovery now, but they’ve continued to stall by only promising funds if the state will release everyone they’ve ever done business with from any kind of liability. That’s not the way to help Louisiana recover. It isn’t enough for them to spend millions of dollars on TV and radio commercials talking about doing the right thing, they must follow through. Working with the governor, we doing what BP should have done months ago; we are investing $2 million in oyster cultch now to help our Louisiana seafood industry get back to providing healthy, delicious oysters to consumers across the country. Rather than doing further damage by holding up negotiations, we want to see BP step forward and fulfill their promises to ‘make it right.’”

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said, “This investment in our coastal areas will go a long way in getting our coastline back to 100 percent. Even though BP and the federal government continue to drag their feet in processing claims, fighting the oil and restoring our way of life – I’m glad we have a state government that moves with a sense of urgency in providing our costal communities funding for revitalizing the coast and supporting our fishermen and oystermen.”

St. Bernard Parish President Craig P. Taffaro said, “We welcome the opportunity to partner with our state’s leadership in order to facilitate an ambitious intervention to slow the oil impacts from the BP disaster. St. Bernard Parish will continue to stand with our local and state partners at the forefront of this recovery to hold BP accountable until the cleaning and restoring of Louisiana’s coast is complete and the commercial fishing industry is protected.”

Jefferson Parish President John F. Young, Jr. said, “We expect BP to do the right thing, but we cannot wait any longer. We must take it upon ourselves to help our oyster industry, protect and restore our shoreline, and continue to work toward our overall recovery. We will take care of those who have lost the most, and we will hold BP accountable.”

Terrebonne Parish President Michel H Claudet said, “Generations upon generations of families have lived in our coastal areas and this oil spill put their futures in great danger. The effects of the oil spill are still being felt along our fragile coastal line. I urge our counterparts within the federal government to help our coastal communities rebound from this crisis. For all of our challenges, I applaud the Governor for moving dollars as quickly as possible and investing in our coastal areas so we can keep our communities thriving and vibrant."

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph said, "The oil spill happened almost a year ago, and yet our fishermen and oil and gas workers are still feeling the impacts. Fortunately today, our governor is doing what BP should have done long ago: funding the restoration of our wetlands and coastal life. These dollars are investments in our communities, and we will continue to work with the Governor to press BP to make us right."

Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle said, “This commitment of funds by Governor Jindal will work to rebuild the habitat of our coastline and support area communities. Our coastal regions depend on what comes from these waters, so these will be well-spent funds as we all do our part in rebuilding our image and coastal economy."

Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner said, "It's no secret we haven't received the help we need for what BP did to our coast. Between the oil spill, the moratorium and the new rules for drilling, it seems like we've been under attack from all angles. I'm glad the Governor worked with his coastal and legal folks to get some of the funding we'll need to repair our wetlands and wildlife."

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Chairman Mike Voisin said, “The immediate availability of these funds are a great step forward in helping the oyster community in Louisiana recover from the challenges of last year! We appreciate and applaud the Governor in stepping forward in utilizing these funds on an expedited basis to help with this much needed recovery effort. While we appreciate the Governors efforts, we continue to encourage BP to reimburse the State for these dollars spent and put forth additional dollars to further help in this oyster rehabilitation effort.”

Louisiana State Director National Wildlife Federation David P. Muth said, “The National Wildlife Federation supports efforts to jump start restoration initiatives that directly remediate damages from the BP oil spill. Projects that can begin in the near-term to stabilize damaged marsh shoreline along eroding bay edges, or protect islands where pelicans, roseate spoonbills and other water-birds nest, will help to offset the damage from the spill. We encourage the use of innovative natural techniques for shoreline protection, such as establishment of oyster reefs in the intertidal zone. Such techniques will prove more sustainable and cost effective than traditional methods, and should provide greatly enhanced ecosystem services. Long term monitoring and damage assessment are important tools for evaluating the effects of the spill and near-term remediation should not interfere with the process. But in areas where damage is acute and where valuable resources face imminent loss due to erosion, immediate protection and remediation may be warranted.”

The $2 million for oyster beds will come from funds in the Oyster Seed Ground Development Account. This is a Department of Wildlife and Fisheries account funded through compensation for impacts to public oyster seed grounds. This oyster seeding will include placing nearly 37,000 tons of cultch material to establish up to 200 acres of oyster beds on public seed grounds.

The $5 million for engineered shoreline reefs is from the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority’s Emergency Reserve Account. More than 317 miles of Louisiana’s coastline is still impacted by oil and this $5 million in funding will enable the state to take immediate action to construct shoreline reefs that will help restore and protect the state’s coast as it recovers from oil spill damage.

With this funding, up to three miles of engineered shoreline reefs and other protective measures will be placed along the coast to stabilize the effects of the oil spill. Engineered shoreline reefs are similar to oyster seeding, because they are shaped to allow oysters to form on them and reproduce. They also serve to break waves and improve water quality, as oysters clean the water around them.

The $5 million for reestablishing vegetation and shoreline restoration comes from the Coastal Impact Assistance Program (CIAP). Funding is currently sitting in this program for projects that are stalled with federal studies, and the state will free up $5 million from the fund to reestablish vegetation and sand fencing over approximately 30 miles of coastal shoreline where oil has killed coastal plants and root systems that hold Louisiana’s coast together. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

Governor's Press Office: Melissa Sellers, Kyle Plotkin
Contact: 225-342-8006, (c) 225-328-3755

Contact Olivia Watkins, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheres, at owatkins@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-2396.   

State and Local Officials Highlight Remaining Oiled Louisiana Coast in Bay Jimmy

Release Date: 01/07/2011

LDWF Sec. Barham shows marsh grass still covered in oil.
Oiled marsh with open water in background
Close-up of oiled boom

Parts of Louisiana Coastline Still Heavily Oiled; Officials Asking BP, Federal Government to Finish the Job

Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser toured a portion of Louisiana’s coastline still heavily oiled by the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Bay Jimmy, one of the areas along the Gulf of Mexico coast still severely impacted by thick layers of weathered oil and matted marshland, was highlighted by Secretary Barham and Nungesser as a prime example of portions of the Louisiana coastline still in desperate need of a comprehensive clean-up and recovery plan.

State and local officials voiced concerns today over plans of federal officials and BP to turn the responsibilities for mitigating damage to wildlife across the oiled parts of Louisiana’s coast over to LDWF. The continued presence of pooled oil, oil saturated boom in areas such as Bay Jimmy and Pass a Loutre Wildlife Management Area (WMA) underscore the need for a comprehensive, long-term plan to rehabilitate the marsh.

“It has been eight months since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion, and five months since the well was capped. While workers along the coast dedicated themselves to cleaning up our shores there is still so much to be done,” LDWF Secretary Barham said. “BP and federal officials are ready to close up shop and claim the job is done, leaving the state to clean up the mess. We will continue to push for a real resolution, more than just a wait-and-see approach for the miles of Louisiana coastline still oiled. They may have forgotten the impact on our wildlife and our habitat, but we have not.”

“We continue to find oil in different parts of Plaquemines Parish—Redfish Bay, Bay Jimmy, Pass a Loutre—depending on the tides, wind and thunder storms,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser.  “We’re concerned about the long-term plan to keep assets in this region to help remove oil and protect the wildlife. This is by no means over and we're concerned that this is being wrapped up before it is.”

Shoreline treatment recommendations (STRs) for areas like Pass a Loutre WMA have been written by contractors for BP, and some have been executed, but rarely to the full extent necessary to restore crucial coastal habitats. For Bay Jimmy, treatment recommended in STRs has yet to begin; state officials are monitoring cleanup operations to ensure they are fulfilled before BP and federal officials pack up shop at the end of February.

Oiled boom, once used to prevent oil from hitting the shoreline also remains in numerous locations, forgotten or lost by contractors charged with their maintenance and removal.

Oiled birds also continue to be recovered by LDWF biologists, including three live Brown Pelicans in Bay Jimmy, and one dead Brown Pelican. Biologists also recovered one oiled, dead Brown Pelican in Pass a Loutre and one oiled, live Killdeer. These birds, which were recovered in the last few days, have increased concerns for continued wildlife contamination if marshes are not properly cleaned.

“We will continue to try to work with BP, their contractors and federal officials to come up with reasonable, effective solutions for treating and restoring our coastline,” said Secretary Barham. “But we won’t step back while officials pack their bags and leave Louisiana. We’re hopeful that we can reach an agreement for the next steps in our recovery plan.”
If BP and federal officials pass off the wildlife hazing efforts to LDWF, officials will be required to take over operations of hazing tools, such as propane cannons and other deterrents. Federal officials have asked LDWF to submit a Pollution Removal Funding Authorization (PRFA) to the Oil Spill Pollution Fund in order to acquire funds to take over the maintenance and operations of hazing cannons – requiring LDWF to justify why such hazing tools are necessary.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at LDWF at (226) 610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov, or Kurt Fromherz of Plaquemines Parish Government at (504) 450-8779 or kfromherz@plaqueminesparish.com.

For additional photos, video footage and research documentation please visit: ftp://204.12.23.214/Jan_7_Marsh_Tour/.

LDWF and State Officials Finalize $2.56 Million Agreement with BP for Fishing License Revenue Losses

Release Date: 12/21/2010

Funds will cover decline in recreational fishing license sales, associated federal funds and oyster tag revenue losses

Yesterday, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham and state officials finalized plans with British Petroleum to pay $2.56 million to LDWF for lost revenue associated with the decline in recreational fishing license sales, associated federal funds and oyster tag sales.

“This marks a critical step on the road to recovery for LDWF and Louisiana’s fishing communities. These funds are especially crucial now, more than ever, as our Department continues to fulfill its mission, while also working to help fishing communities rebound from the impact of the BP oil spill,” said Secretary Barham. “We are open for business here in Louisiana. I encourage all anglers to visit us for some of the best fishing in the world.”

The agreement with BP was finalized yesterday after discussions between BP officials, LDWF and representatives from the Louisiana Attorney General’s office.

As a result of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began in April 2010 and significant fishing closures, LDWF suffered a loss of almost $1.7 million from a decline in recreational fishing license sales. The Department also saw a loss of nearly $450,000 in federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and more than $200,000 in revenue from a decline in oyster tag sales in 2010.

Historically, June through October is the high season for recreational fishing license sales. These sales decreased from nearly $7.3 million in the period from April 21 through November 30 in 2009, to approximately $5.5 million in 2010 for the same time period – roughly a 24 percent decrease.

BP analyzed revenue from recreational fishing license and oyster tag sales in March and April of 2009 to determine a trend that was applied to projected sales in 2010. This figure demonstrated what revenues would have been but for the BP oil spill. BP officials then subtracted the actual revenue from the projected amount to determine lost revenue.

Officials with LDWF continue to work with BP on claims to fund an oyster cultch program and a saltwater hatchery. The Department previously announced agreements with BP for a $13 million fisheries impact study and $18 million for seafood safety monitoring and testing, and $30 million for seafood safety marketing efforts.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov. 

Syndicate content