National Fisherman

Last week we took you down South and spoke to the Chairman of the Louisiana Task Force who warned: the state's coastal restoration plan will kill thousands of acres of oysters. Tonight we take you to Baton Rouge where the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is explaining their plans. WGNO News Anchor Vanessa Bolano has the follow-up.

For years Jerome Zeringue has been an advocate for coastal restoration. The Thibodaux native now spends much of his time in Baton Rouge pushing the state's Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.

"We've already lost 1900 square miles since the 1930′s, but the potential is to lose an additional 1700 square miles if we don't address this issue," says Zeringue.

The 50 year plan has been in the works since 2007. It comes as a result of our dwindling coastline that began withering away in the 1930′s once the Mississippi River was surrounded by levees.

To turn back time the plan calls for several diversions along the river, yet oystermen like John Tesvich say those diversions will kill our oysters. Tesvich, Chairman of the Louisiana Oyster Task Force, says just one of the diversions being researched today will flush out over 100,000 acres of oyster beds.

"You're talking about destroying the oyster beds from Bayou Lafourche all the way to the mouth of the river. The whole West Bank of Plaquemines and Jefferson you are talking about wiping out," warns Tesvich.

Read the full story at WGNO>>

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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