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

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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