PORTION OF LOUISIANA OFFSHORE TERRITORIAL WATERS CLOSED TO SHRIMPING

Release Date: 12/05/2007

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced a shrimping closure in a portion of Louisiana offshore territorial (outside) waters at its Dec. 6, 2007 meeting.  The action protects small white shrimp currently over-wintering in these areas as well as additional over-wintering white shrimp anticipated to recruit to these waters.


The closure area includes that portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495, from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude to the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude.  This closure will become effective Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007 at 6 a.m.  All state outside waters east of the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal will remain open to shrimping. 


According to LA R.S. 56:498.B(1), the possession count on saltwater white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound except during the time period from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December when there shall be no count.  Current sampling conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Marine Fisheries Division biologists has indicated that white shrimp in this portion of Louisiana outside waters average smaller than 100 count per pound.  This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger more valuable sizes.


The commission also authorized the LDWF secretary to close any part of remaining state outside waters if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so and to re-open any closed area when the closure is no longer necessary.  The secretary is also authorized to open and close special shrimp seasons in portions of inside waters where such a season would not detrimentally affect developing brown shrimp.


In addition, all inside waters will close to shrimping on Decc 18, 2007 at 6 a.m. with the exception of those portions of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1.(A)2) which will close March 31, 2008 at 6 a.m.  These closures were fixed by the commission at its Aug. 2 meeting.


For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at 225-765-2401 or mbourgeois@wlf.louisiana.gov.


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