COMMISSION SETS 2007 COMMERCIAL SEASONS FOR REEF FISHES

Release Date: 01/03/2007

A declaration of emergency, setting the 2007 commercial fishing seasons for reef fish and setting trip limits for grouper, was issued by Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their Jan. 4 2007 meeting, as recommended by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.


The commission also set a commercial trip and possession limit for deep-water and shallow-water grouper combined (black, misty, Warsaw, red, snowy, yellowedge, yellowfin and yellowmouth groupers, red hind, rock hind, speckled hind, gag and scamp), of 6,000 pounds per vessel. 


The commission authorized the LDWF Secretary to establish and modify trip and possession limits and to close the season for the commercial harvest of any species or group of species of reef fish in Louisiana state waters if he is informed by the Regional Administrator of NMFS that the applicable commercial quota has been harvested in the Gulf of Mexico, and if he is requested by NMFS to enact compatible regulations in Louisiana state waters.


The secretary was also authorized to re-open and close those commercial seasons in Louisiana state waters if the commercial season dates in the Federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico have been modified, and that NMFS requests that the season be modified in Louisiana state waters.  Such authority shall extend through Jan. 31, 2008.


The commission's actions ensure that regulations in state waters will complement regulations of the National Marine Fisheries Service for federally managed waters.  NMFS and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council typically request consistent regulations for Louisiana waters to enhance effectiveness and enforceability of regulations.


For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at 225-765-2889 or hblanchet@wlf.louisiana.gov.
2007-009