Oil Spill

LDWF Begins Process of Reopening Commercial Fishing in Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays by Collecting Seafood Samples for Federal Testing

Release Date: 09/09/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is moving forward with sampling of crab, shrimp and finfish in closed commercial fishing areas west of the Mississippi Delta, which is the first step in reopening these state waters to commercial fishing.

This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concurred with Louisiana's request to begin the reopening process in Terrebonne and Timbalier Bays, which were originally closed to commercial fishing earlier this summer after confirmed reports of oil suspected to be from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This marks the first federal testing to take place on seafood in these waters since the state issued the emergency closures. Once samples from these areas are determined to be safe of all hydrocarbons and dispersant substance, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham intends to order immediate openings to commercial fishing in these areas, which will leave only five percent of commercial fishing areas closed. Currently, LDWF fisheries biologists are collecting thousands of specimens of crab, shrimp and finfish in Terrebonne and Timbalier bays to submit to the FDA and NOAA for sensory testing and chemical analysis. Once these samples are processed, the FDA will render its decision on the reopening.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

  • Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in waters previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will submit an 'intent to reopen' letter to NOAA and the FDA; 
  • LDWF biologists then conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area; 
  • Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination; 

Once the analysis is complete FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding the proposed reopening. The entire process is expected to be completed in 14 days.

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

For more information, contact Ashley Wethey at 225-765-5113 or awethey@wlf.la.gov 

 

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FDA and NOAA Agree with LDWF on Sampling in Closed Fishing Areas East of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 09/01/2010

 

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) concurred with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' (LDWF) request to begin the process to re-open state waters to commercial fishing currently closed east of the Mississippi Delta, including the Chandeleur Islands.  These areas were originally closed due to confirmed reports of oil suspected to be from the Deepwater Horizon incident.  This marks the first federal testing to take place on seafood in these waters since the state issued the emergency closures.  Once samples from these areas are determined to be safe of all hydrocarbons and dispersant substance, LDWF Secretary Robert Barham intends to order immediate openings to commercial fishing in these areas.  

 Currently, LDWF fisheries biologists are collecting thousands of specimens of crab, shrimp and finfish in these areas to submit to FDA and NOAA for sensory testing and chemical analysis.  Once these samples are processed, the FDA will render their decision on the reopening.  
 
"Once this opening is complete it will leave only eight percent of state waters closed to commercial fishing," said Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  "The state will not rest until all areas are open including federal waters off Louisiana's coast."  

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows: 

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in waters previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will submit an 'intent to reopen' letter to NOAA and FDA.
 
LDWF biologists then conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area.

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination.  
 
Once the analysis is complete FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding the proposed reopening. The entire process is expected to be completed in 14 days.

 For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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Birds Saved from Deepwater Horizon Oil Impacts Released at Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area

Release Date: 08/27/2010

State and federal biologists today released another 79 birds rehabilitated after rescue from oil impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill along the Louisiana coast.

Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in St. Mary Parish was selected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the release site due to its location and high quality habitat for the species involved.

"LDWF's coastal wildlife refuges and management areas provide thousands of acres of habitat not affected by the oil spill," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. "It is an encouraging sign for the wildlife recovery process to see more birds released each week."

The birds released today, which were treated at the Hammond Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, included gulls, herons, rails, roseate spoonbills and terns. To date, 978 birds have been treated and released in Louisiana as part of the massive wildlife rescue and recovery effort.

Atchafalaya Delta WMA in coastal St. Mary Parish includes 137,695 acres at the mouths of the Atchafalaya River and the Wax Lake Outlet. The WMA is managed by LDWF's Coastal and Non-game Resources Division.

To report oiled wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401 with date, time and location information. For a complete report on wildlife rescue and recovery numbers along the Gulf Coast during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response, go tohttp://www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com/go/doctype/2931/55963.

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

For more information, please contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 orbboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Announces Significant Reopenings to Commercial Crabbing in Plaquemines, St. Bernard and Orleans Parishes

Release Date: 08/21/2010

 

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial crabbing in areas east of the Mississippi River and the northern shore of Pass a Loutre that were previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Effective immediately today, August 21, all state inside and outside territorial waters east of the Mississippi River and north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude are open to the commercial harvest of crabs

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the crab samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

The following areas remain closed to all commercial fishing including commercial crabbing until further notice:

the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and 
the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and 
the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and 
the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. 
All Louisiana commercial fishing closures as detailed on the commercial fishing maps posted to the LDWF website remain unchanged.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov

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

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L.D.W.F. Reopens All State Waters to Recreational Angling

Release Date: 08/20/2010

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered an immediate opening of all state inshore and offshore territorial waters to recreational angling, including charter boat angling.  The areas opened today by the commission do not include the recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs or oysters.  Prior to today?s action, approximately 862 square miles or 11 percent of saltwater areas of the state remained closed to all recreational fishing due to the impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

LDWF, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is continuing to provide additional fish tissue samples for sensory testing and chemical analysis in preparation for re-opening areas currently closed to commercial crabbing and commercial fishing.

With today?s action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an ?intent to reopen? to NOAA and the FDA

LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination.  This process is expected to take between seven and ten days

After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening

For a map detailing today?s recreational openings click here. 

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

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LDWF Announces the Opening of Commercial Crab Fishing in Significant Areas West of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 08/20/2010

 

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial crabbing in areas west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River that were previously closed because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Effective immediately today, August 20, all state inside and outside territorial waters west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude are open to the commercial harvest of crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that, following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the crab samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

The following areas remain closed to all commercial fishing, including commercial crabbing, until further notice:

All Louisiana commercial fishing closures including commercial crab closures east of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River remain unchanged. LDWF does anticipate FDA approval to reopen commercial crabbing in this area within days.

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Barataria Waterway, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds west longitude 
The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 56 minutes 00 seconds west longitude 
29 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 57 minutes 30 seconds west longitude 
The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 08 minutes 15 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 11 minutes 40 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude and the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 02 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 05 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

For maps detailing these commercial openings, click here
For detail sheet one, click here
For detail sheet two, click here
For detail sheet three, click here
For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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Governor Jindal Announces Funding for Fishery Resource Monitoring Program, Calls on BP to Fund Long-Term Seafood Plan

Release Date: 08/19/2010

 

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced that BP has agreed to fund a three-year, $13 million fishery-resource monitoring plan and he also called on BP to fund the state's long-term comprehensive seafood certification and marketing plan that was submitted nearly two months ago. The Governor stressed that the fishery-resource monitoring plan is only a first step and BP's approval of a seafood certification and marketing plan is critical to ensuring the long-term viability of the seafood industry in Louisiana.

Governor Jindal said, "This is an important first step - and we thank BP for this investment. However, this is only a first step and we need the next step to happen in the next days or the next week - not next month or next year. We have been asking for approval of our comprehensive seafood safety and testing plan for months now and the time to act is now. This is one of the most critical issues facing our state as we work to recover from the effects of this spill.

"We must quickly put in place a comprehensive testing program that will give the public and the market predictability and confidence in our seafood industry. We want the world to know that Louisiana seafood is not only safe, but continues to be the best seafood in the world. The seafood industry is unique and integral to our economy and the very fabric of our state. We need BP to approve this plan in days, not months."

For the event, the Governor was joined by Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, St. Bernard Parish President Billy Nungesser, Harlon's LA Fishing owner Harlon Pearce, Lake Pontchartrain Fisherman's Association Peter Gerica, Louisiana Restaurant Association President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Funk, Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Executive Director Ewell Smith, Pascal's Restaurant Owner Mark DeFelice.

LONG-TERM SEAFOOD CERTIFICATION AND MARKETING PLAN

The state submitted the long-term seafood safety plan to BP on May 29th to fund the creation of a Louisiana Wild Seafood Certification Program that will enable the state to oversee seafood processing from catch to retail. This will allow Louisiana seafood harvesters and processors to certify that their products adhere to best practices, guaranteeing quality for American consumers and demonstrating that people in Louisiana stand behind their products.

The state's new, revised long-term seafood safety plan calls for an initial five-year cost of $173 million and there are automatic renewals based on objective criteria. Specifically, the initial five-year cost for this program totals $173 million. Three criteria will be used to determine the success of the initial five years of work. The first will be that tissue sample results show no indicators that oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is present. The second is that landings of major species of seafood - shrimp, crabs, oysters and fish - are at or above pre-spill levels.  The third component is that markets are restored and the overall value of seafood is at or above pre-spill amounts. If these conditions are not met by the end of the fifth year, the state is asking BP to fund an additional three years of the project. The renewal will continue if these conditions are not met for up to 20 years

IMPORTANCE OF LOUISIANA'S SEAFOOD INDUSTRY

There are around 12,260 commercial fishing licenses in Louisiana and over 1,500 seafood dealers/processors and brokers in Louisiana.

Louisiana produces nearly one-third of the domestic seafood for the continental U.S. Seventy percent of the seafood production in the Gulf of Mexico comes from Louisiana fishers, shrimpers and oyster harvesters. Louisiana is second only to Alaska in terms of commercial fisheries production and home to three of the top seven commercial fishing ports in the country. In Louisiana, around one billion pounds of fisheries products worth over $272 million are produced every year.

In recent years, Louisiana commercial fishermen landed significant portions of the total U.S. commercial harvest, including 35 percent of shrimp, 36 percent of oysters, 56 percent of the Gulf menhaden, 27 percent of blue crab, 55 percent of black drum, 23 percent of all snapper species and 20 percent of yellowfin tuna.

FISHERY-RESOURCE MONITORING PROGRAM

The fishery-resource monitoring program will enable biologists from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) to conduct a three-year study on the effects of the oil spill on Louisiana's fisheries resources.  The core components of the plan include monitoring Louisiana's inshore aquatic resources, which will allow biologists to quantify the impact of the oil spill on inshore fishery resources by enhancing monitoring and sampling approaches.

This study also includes monitoring Louisiana's near shore aquatic resources, which will provide fishery-independent monitoring and assessment information essential to the management of Louisiana's Gulf of Mexico fisheries. This study also includes monitoring Louisiana's sensitive reef fish complex, which will help gather information on demographics of several native species of reef fish, including red snapper, on the Louisiana continental shelf. If damages around found after the three years of the study, the state can ask BP for an extension or use legal avenues available under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) process.

For more information contact Joey Shepard at 225-765-2384 or jshepard@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Calls Special Meeting

Release Date: 08/18/2010

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has scheduled a special meeting for 11:00 A.M. on Friday, August 20, 2010, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

 1. Roll Call

 2. Consideration of Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent to Allow Recreational Fishing Including Recreational Charter Boat Guides in all State Waters

 3. Consideration of Request to Appropriate Federal Agencies to Expedite the Opening of Closed Waters to Fishing

 4. Public Comments

 5. Adjourn

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Louisiana Commercial Fishing Moves Forward with Additional State Water Openings

Release Date: 08/16/2010

Several areas of Louisiana's state waters were reopened Saturday, August 14 to commercial fishing in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes, showing more progress for Louisiana?s fishing industry.  The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these re-openings following the completion of FDA?s comprehensive testing. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, seafood samples tested from previously closed areas were safe for consumption.

In addition to this news, Louisiana?s fall inshore shrimp season opened today at 6 a.m. in Shrimp Management Zones 1, 2 and 3. This opening was announced August 5 after approval from the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

"These latest openings are significant to Louisiana's fishing industry, on both economic and morale levels," stated LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "With the fall inshore shrimp season opening today and Saturday's announcement of additional openings in state waters we are telling our fishermen, and the rest of the country, that progress is underway and we are getting back to business."

With Saturday's actions, adjustments were made to the areas closed to recreational fishing west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Those areas closed to commercial fishing now match the areas closed to recreational fishing. LDWF made these adjustments to align with areas reopened based on FDA testing and to allow LDWF enforcement agents to better monitor closed areas.

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters. The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process, therefore LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing. While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

All commercial and recreational closures east of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River remain unchanged.

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes
All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou at 91 degrees 07 minutes 48 seconds west longitude will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude and the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 02 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 05 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes
All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Southwest Pass at the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Barataria Waterway, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:
1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:
1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 56 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 57 minutes 30 seconds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 08 minutes 15 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 11 minutes 40 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

To report a suspected oiled catch to LDWF you are encouraged to call 1-866-577-1401. Please be prepared to give your name, fishing license number and coordinates of suspected oil. All claims are taken very seriously, and any person found falsifying claims would be dealt with to the full extent the law allows.

For more information contact Marty Bourgeois at 225/765-2401 ormbourgeois@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Reopens Portions of State Waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes to Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 08/14/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes effective immediately today, Saturday, August 14.

With today's actions, adjustments were made to the areas closed to recreational fishing west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Those areas closed to commercial fishing now match the areas closed to recreational fishing. LDWF made these adjustments to align with areas reopened based on FDA testing and to allow LDWF enforcement agents to better monitor closed areas.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these re-openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the seafood samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

NOTE: Shrimpers are reminded that the fall inshore shrimp season begins on Monday, August 16 at 6 AM

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters. The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process, as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing. While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

All commercial and recreational closures east of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River remain unchanged.

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou at 91 degrees 07 minutes 48 seconds west longitude will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude and the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 02 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 05 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Southwest Pass at the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Barataria Waterway, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 56 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 57 minutes 30 sec! onds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 08 minutes 15 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 11 minutes 40 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

To report a suspected oiled catch to LDWF you are encouraged to call 1-866-577-1401. Please be prepared to give your name, fishing license number and coordinates of suspected oil. All claims are taken very seriously, and any person found falsifying claims will be dealt with to the full extent the law allows.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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