June 8, 2012 – The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took the first bold move to extend state waters from three miles offshore to three marine leagues or approximately 10.357 miles.
The commission approved this action based on Act 336 passed during the 2011 legislative session, which recognizes that the Louisiana gulfward boundary historically consists of three marine leagues and designates that boundary to be enforced by state law regarding the protection and restoration of coastal lands, waters and natural resources and regulation of activities affecting them.
“Today’s action by the commission supports what the governor, legislature and people of Louisiana want to see from our department,” said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham. “The bountiful resources that are native to Louisiana’s waters should be managed beyond the three mile boundary currently recognized by the federal regulatory body and this is a bold first step by Louisiana in claiming what is rightful ours.”
LDWF officials encourage fishermen to use caution and their own personal judgment when fishing beyond the three mile boundary that is currently recognized as federal waters, as it is fully expected that federal agents will continue to enforce federal law. Until the time when the US Congress confirms Louisiana’s action today, the battle will continue over Louisiana’s state water boundary.
To view Act 336 in its entirety click here: http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=760938