The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries would like to remind shrimpers that the final application deadline for new federal shrimp moratorium permits is Oct. 26, 2007. However, federal regulations require these new permits be onboard vessels fishing for Gulf of Mexico shrimp in federal waters beginning on March 26, 2007.
Current federal open-access shrimp permits are valid to the expiration date printed on the permit or March 25, 2007, whichever comes first.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) presented information on how to apply for the new permits at a series of recent meetings held in Biloxi, MS, Metairie, LA, Port Arthur, TX, Brownsville, TX and Palacios, TX.
Due to low fishermen turnout at the Nov. 28 Metairie meeting, LDWF is concerned that many fishermen who shrimp in Gulf of Mexico federal waters may be unaware of the new permit requirements, qualifying criteria and application process.
Using permit histories of current federal open-access permit holders, the NMFS is planning to send application packages to those who appear to meet the eligibility requirements for the new moratorium permit.
Interested persons may contact the NMFS Southeast Region Permits Office at 727-824-5326 to receive additional information and request application packets. Permit applications and forms (Basis of Eligibility for the Gulf of Mexico Shrimp Moratorium and Gulf Shrimp Vessel and Gear Characterization), which must be submitted with applications are also available on the NMFS Web site at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/permits.htm.
In an effort to assist these shrimpers, LDWF is making packets containing federal shrimp moratorium permit application forms and instructions available at their Baton Rouge, Bourg, New Iberia and Lake Charles offices.
For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at 225-765-2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.