LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES ANNOUNCES PUBLIC MEETINGS FOR POST-HURRICANE COMMERCIAL AND CHARTER BOAT FISHERIES ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Release Date: 05/14/2008

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) invites Louisiana resident commercial fishermen, certain commercial fishing vessel license holders and wholesale/retail seafood dealers with trip ticket reported sales or purchases of seafood between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2005, prior to Hurricane Katrina, to participate in informational public meetings beginning May 20. To qualify for assistance you must have reported LDWF trip ticket sales or purchases of any type of the following seafood during the qualifying period AND have held one or more LDWF licenses as follows:


1. Sales of shrimp, oyster, crab, or saltwater finfish and held a Resident Commercial Fisherman's License; and/or
2. Sales of shrimp, oyster, saltwater fish or menhaden and held a Resident Commercial Fishing Vessel License ; and/or
3. Sales of freshwater finfish or wild caught crawfish and held a Resident Commercial Fisherman's License and resided in any of the 26 LDWF-defined hurricane impacted parishes; and/or
4. Purchases of shrimp, oyster, crab, or saltwater finfish and held a Resident Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer License; and/or
5. Purchases of freshwater finfish or wild caught crawfish and held a Resident Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer License and resided in any of the 26 LDWF-defined hurricane impacted parishes


Louisiana resident charter boat operators who held a LDWF charter boat fishing guide license in the qualifying period (Sep 1, 2004 - Aug 31, 2005) also qualify for personal assistance payments. Information packets have been mailed to individuals and entities that LDWF has identified in the commercial fisheries sector from pre-storm trip ticket records, and eligible charter boat operators will receive packets by early June


The LDWF uses trip tickets to collect commercial landings and associated harvest information by trip. Trip tickets dated during the eligible period but submitted after September 1, 2007 will not be considered. 


Attendance at these meetings is not mandatory. Program staff will be available to provide information about the program and answer questions. The dates and locations of the meetings are:


Cameron - Tuesday, May 20th (5:00 p.m.)
Cameron Parish Courthouse
119 Smith Circle
Cameron, LA 70631  


Abbeville - Wednesday, May 21st (2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.)
L.S.U. Ag Center
1105 West Port Street
Abbeville, LA 70510  


Chalmette - Wednesday, May 28th (5:30 p.m.)
Chalmette High School Cafeteria
1100 E. Judge Perez Drive
Chalmette, LA 70043   


Lafitte - Thursday, May 29th (2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
Lafitte Auditorium
4953 City Park Drive
Lafitte, LA 70067


Houma - Tuesday, June 3rd (2:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
South Terrebonne High School Cafeteria
3879 Highway 24
Bourg, LA 70343


Belle Chasse - Wednesday, June 4th (2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.)
Belle Chasse High School Theatre
8346 Highway 23
Belle Chasse, LA 70037
 
More than 8,000 information packets have been mailed to individuals and entities that LDWF has identified in the commercial fisheries sector from pre-storm trip ticket records, and eligible charter boat operators will receive packets by early June. LDWF urges everyone who receives a packet to open it immediately, follow the enclosed instructions, and return all required forms using the business-reply envelope provided by the October 31, 2008 deadline.


The South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC) and affiliated planning districts will receive and process all information about this assistance program. Any questions concerning eligibility, requests for information, etc. should be directed to the SCPDC by calling 1-800-630-3791 (toll-free) or 985 655-1051 (local) or mailing SCPDC at P.O. Box 1240, Gray, LA 70359-9902 or visiting the SCPDC Web site at www.scpdc.org/fisheries assistance.


For more information, contact Jim Hanifen at 225-765-2383 jhanifen@wlf.louisiana.gov


2008-135