Oil Spill Closures

L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE CHANGES TO THE LOUISIANA SHRIMP SEASON

Release Date: 05/08/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that the shrimp season in the territorial seas of the central coast of Louisiana - from Four  Bayou Pass to Freshwater Bayou  -- closes effective sunset, Saturday, May 8, 2010.

Effective with this action, all outside territorial waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to Freshwater Bayou are closed to shrimp harvesting.

Secretary Barham also announced that LDWF will delay the opening of the inshore shrimp season in Zone 2 until further notice.

Secretary Barham also announced that the inshore waters of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay to the Louisiana/Texas state line are opened at sunset, Saturday, May 8, 2010.

Secretary Barham has made these decisions based on the potential effects from the Gulf oil spill and under the authority granted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

 For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP.

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

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LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION TAKES ACTION TO ESTABLISH SEASON OPENINGS AND CLOSURES (AMENDED)

Release Date: 05/06/2010

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission received briefings on the latest impact of the oil spill in the Gulf, which resulted from the Deepwater Horizon drilling accident.  Based on this update and other biological data, the commission took the following action on fishing closures and openings. 

Continued fishing closures

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission issued a declaration of emergency at todays meeting, continuing the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in some coastal areas east of the Mississippi River.

"Today's actions by the commission help ensure that Louisianians are safe from any ill-effects from this oil spill," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "We are continuing to monitor the spill and work with our state partners to ensure all Louisiana waters are safe for fishing."

Barham announced the initial closure of both recreational and commercial fishing on April 30 in cooperation with the Department of Health and Hospitals who announced a concurrent closure of certain oyster harvesting areas.  The closed fishing area includes coastal waters east of the Mississippi River, excluding the coastal boundaries of Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas. 

Louisiana spring shrimp season to open

The opening dates of the 2010 Louisiana spring shrimp season were announced at todays meeting. The commission set the spring shrimp season dates based on the authority provided in statute. The commission also took into consideration the recent developments and predicted trajectory from the Deepwater Horizon incident.  LDWF Secretary Barham was also granted the authority to adjust these season dates based upon biological and technical data.

The 2010 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

  • Shrimp Management Zone 2 beginning at the eastern shore of South Pass at the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to open at 6 AM, May 10, 2010.
  • Portions of the Calcasieu ship channel and the Sabine River ship channel within Zone 3 shall open at 6 AM, May 10, 2010
  • The remaining portion of Shrimp Management Zone 3 will open at 6 AM, May 31, 2010

The Commission also granted authority to the LDWF secretary to open the spring shrimp season both inside and outside state waters within Shrimp Management Zone 1 when the current LDWF precautionary fisheries closure within these waters is suspended.

The Commission gave Barham authority to delay the opening of the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season if biological and technical data indicate the presence of significant numbers of small-sized brown shrimp.  It also gave authority to close any portion of Louisiana's inside waters to protect small white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop.

LDWF management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates utilize criteria which project the date when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population sampled reach sizes of 100 count (per pound) or larger.  Last year, Louisiana shrimp landings totaled 110.3 million pounds (all species combined/heads-on weight) and were valued at $113 million dockside.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

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L.D.W.F. SECRETARY ANNOUNCES EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF PORTION OF TERRITORIAL SEAS TO SHRIMP HARVESTING

Release Date: 05/06/2010

BATON ROUGE - Today LDWF Secretary Robert Barham issued an emergency closure of shrimp harvesting in territorial seas from the south pass of the Mississippi River to the eastern shore of Four Bayous Pass, effective at 6PM, May 6, 2010. Latest projections from NOAA indicate that this area may be vulnerable to oil in the coming days.
 
"We are constantly monitoring and conducting field surveys to ensure all Louisiana's water that may be impacted by this oil are closed to harvesting. We are prepared and ready to do what it takes to protect Louisianas fishermen and seafood consumers," said LDWF Secretary Barham.
 
Vessels fishing offshore will be allowed to pass through the closed area when returning to dock.
 
For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov.  Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP  and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep .

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES MAY 4 CLOSURE OF SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON

Release Date: 05/03/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham has announced that the special shrimp season in the remaining portion of Zone 1, including all state territorial waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line, from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the western shore of South Pass at the Mississippi River at 89 degrees 08 minutes 42 seconds west longitude, and all inshore waters of Zone 2, will close at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

Last week, Secretary Barham announced a special shrimp season in these state waters due to potential effects from the Gulf oil spill.

LDWF biologists collected data that indicates the marketable white shrimp have been harvested and the juvenile brown shrimp remain. In an effort to preserve the smaller brown shrimp, the season has been closed. This closure is not a result of oil-effected water.

The opening dates for the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season will be set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission which meets this Thursday, May 6.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter @GOHSEP.
Editors: For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-610-2363.

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IN PRECAUTIONARY MOVE, L.D.W.F. AND D.H.H. ANNOUNCE CLOSURES DUE TO OIL SPILL

Release Date: 04/30/2010

The Louisiana departments of Health and Hospitals, and Wildlife and Fisheries, announced today they will be closing select fishing areas and oyster harvesting beds as a precautionary response to the oil spill in the Gulf.

Fishing Closures

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham announced the closure of both recreational and commercial fishing in Zone 1, excluding the coastal boundaries of Lake Borgne, Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurapas.  This closure will take place at 6 p.m. this evening.  The Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident has resulted in a significant release of oil into the offshore waters of southeast Louisiana. Oil has the potential to impact fish and other aquatic life in portions of Louisiana's coastal waters. 

"I signed this emergency closure today as a proactive effort to prevent any oil-tainted fish, shrimp or crab from being caught and thus consumed," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "Now is the time to act as we see what the impacts may be to Louisiana's fragile ecosystems."

Oyster Harvesting Closures

DHH is closing molluscan shellfish harvesting areas 2 through 7 today as a precaution.  Areas 2 through 7 are east of the Mississippi River in the coastal parishes of Plaquemines and St. Bernard.

DHH Secretary Alan Levine and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the closure order, which will take effect at sunset today, Friday, April 30, 2010.

Since the explosion at the BP global exploration site and resulting leak, officials from DHH's Office of Public Health Molluscan Shellfish Program have been closely monitoring the situation and continuing daily tests of the 8-million acre Louisiana shoreline.

As officials continue to monitor the remaining unaffected oyster beds west of the Mississippi River, DHH is working closely with LDWF, the state's oyster harvesters and the Louisiana Oyster Task Force to ensure the safety of oysters taken from areas currently not affected by the spill. All oysters taken prior to closure of the affected beds are safe to eat.

"We have an extensive and well-tested program of monitoring the safety of oysters harvested in Louisiana," Sec. Levine said. "We have been monitoring the oysters in the affected areas before the closures and will use those tests as a baseline to ensure long-term safety of the oysters when this incident ends."

 

Dr. Guidry said the department's team continues to conduct regular monitoring of the unaffected areas.

 

"Oysters that are still coming out of the many unaffected beds across the Louisiana coast are being watched closely," Dr. Guidry said. "All of the beds that remain open are safe."

Officials with both agencies are working closely with the Governor's Office for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness as the situation unfolds. Updates on any further closures or changes in the status of areas closed will be posted at emergency.louisiana.gov.

To learn more about DHH, visit www.dhh.louisiana.gov. To learn more about LDWF, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

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SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON OPENS IN ZONE 2 AND PORTION OF ZONE 1

Release Date: 04/29/2010

Today, April 29, at noon, LDWF Secretary Barham will open in Shrimp Management Zone 2 including state outside waters between Freshwater Bayou Canal and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel and that portion of Zone 1 north of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude, with the exclusion of the area south of 29 degrees, 30 minutes (or the mouth of the Mississippi River/Mississippi Delta area).  These waters will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.

Unseasonably colder temperatures and wet winter conditions have delayed brown shrimp recruitment and growth in inshore waters; however, samples collected by LDWF Office of Fisheries biologists have indicated the presence of significant numbers of marketable size, over-wintering white shrimp in these waters. In consideration of the potential threat to these resources posed by the proximity of an offshore oil spill, this special season should provide fishermen with added economic opportunity through the harvest and sale of over-wintering white shrimp.

It is important to stress that Louisiana seafood is safe to eat.  The state continues to work closely with LDWF field biologists and DHH to ensure all seafood harvested are safe for consumer consumption.    

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2335.

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L.D.W.F. ANNOUNCES PARTIAL CLOSURE OF SPECIAL SHRIMP SEASON IN ZONE 1

Release Date: 04/29/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced that the special shrimp season will close at 6 a.m., Friday, April 30 in the portion of Shrimp Management Zone 1 south of the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.  The special shrimp season in the remaining portion of Zone 1 shall remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice.

The opening dates for the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 6 meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

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