The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) adopted a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prohibit the waste of fishery resources and abandonment of menhaden purse seine gear during fishing operations.
The proposed rule would:
- Prohibit abandoning menhaden purse seine gear during the course of fishing operations or while on the water and establish a 48-hour window to remove all gear before it is considered abandoned.
- Establishes marking requirements for gear that is released to facilitate retrieval and warn of navigational hazards by the released gear.
- Would require notification to LDWF within 2 hours of any release of menhaden.
- Requires that all reasonable attempts be made to retrieve menhaden and bycatch from the environment in the event of a release.
- Defines that a violation of these rules shall be considered a waste of a fishery resource subject to civil fine and restitution and abandonment of gear shall constitute a commercial littering violation.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before noon on January 5, 2023. The full notice of intent can be found here.
The Commission’s adoption of a Notice of Intent (NOI) is the first of many steps in promulgating a final Rule, which can take between 90 days and one year. Once adopted, the NOI will be published in the State Register and begin the public comment period. The Commission will consider all public comments received and may make any changes they deem necessary or appropriate. Absent any amendments to the NOI by the Commission, the proposed Rule will be sent to the Legislative Oversight Committee for their review. Upon expiration of the 30-day oversight period, or upon a favorable review by the Oversight Committee, the Rule can be published as final in the State Register.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. LDWF receives no state general funding and depends on license sales as a major funding source. Help us protect your hunting and fishing heritage while preserving habitat, wildlife, and aquatic resources by purchasing your license at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email or text alerts signup here.