Crab trap proposal advances

The Louisiana Shrimp Task Force is recommending fishermen be allowed to accidentally catch four active crab traps and not have to return them to the ocean until they’re done fishing.

The task force, a 19-member panel in charge of studying and monitoring the shrimp industry and making recommendations to the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and other state agencies, approved the measure at its Tuesday meeting in Houma.

Under state law, if a fisherman accidently catches an active crab trap, the trap must be immediately returned to the ocean.

Many fishermen agree that it would make their lives easier to hold the traps on board until they finish fishing instead of returning a single trap they could catch again, said Maj. Gubal Marceaux, a Wildlife and Fisheries law enforcement agent.

Worried that some fishermen would take advantage of the situation, Marceaux recommended allowing them to keep up to four traps on board at a time.

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