National Fisherman

As most of the commercial and recreational anglers in Louisiana are well aware, the federal government is attempting to regulate how we fish in the Gulf.

The latest attempt is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association limiting Louisiana's red snapper fishing season to 24 days.

To address this, I, along with Sen. David Vitter, recently introduced H.R. 1430, the Offshore Fairness Act of 2013.

This legislation will give states in the Gulf of Mexico and the south Atlantic the option to expand their offshore jurisdiction up to 10 miles off the coastline, thus giving them greater control over managing their own fisheries.

It will also expand the boundary of the submerged land of the Outer Continental Shelf to 10 miles.

Currently, most states have jurisdiction up to 3 miles off of their respective coasts.

This territorial extension will be available for the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

Texas and the eastern coast of Florida already have jurisdiction to manage fisheries up to 10 miles.

This bill gives all coastal states the same authority in managing their territorial waters.

Read the full story at Houma Today>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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