Shrimp Watch- January 2017

Louisiana specific data portrayed in the graphics are selected from preliminary data posted by NOAA on their website. All data portrayed are subject to final revision and approval by NOAA.  Shrimp landings are ex-vessel prices, inclusive of all species harvested. Missing, inadequate or withheld reports are portrayed as “zero” in these graphics. Price graphics reflect central Gulf states only (Texas and Florida are reported independently). For more information, please refer to: www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/market_news/index.html.

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LDWF Offers Volunteer Opportunity

Beach Scene

Credit: J. Lively

There’s still time to become a volunteer with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program. Join us on Saturday, March 4, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Lake Pontchartrain Lighthouse in New Orleans for this free, instructional workshop.

 

At this hands-on workshop, participants will receive the training needed to become a volunteer instructor. Topics and activities include knot tying, casting skills, basic fishing techniques, proper fish identification, fisheries management and more. A binder of lesson plans, activity guides and educational materials for future use will be provided to those who attend. (Please note a $25 reservation fee is required to reserve your spot and will be refunded at the workshop.)

 

Upon completion of the 8-hour workshop and background check, volunteers can participate in an equipment loaner kit program. Just as a library loans books, we can provide fishing rods with basic tackle, a knot tying kit, arts and crafts, and more. The loaner program allows instructors to introduce budding anglers to fishing without having to purchase any equipment.

 

For more information or for other upcoming workshops, visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/ldwf-volunteer-programs.

 

For questions about the Aquatic Volunteer Instructor Program, contact Alayna McGarry at (504) 286-4050 or at amcgarry@wlf.la.gov.

Join us at the Third Annual Sea to Table

2015 Fall Events Sea to Table

Event to benefit community partners Audubon Nature Institute Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant

 

Whole Foods Market and Audubon Nature Institute Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries (G.U.L.F.) and Louisiana Sea Grant will host a Sea to Table dinner at Audubon Aquarium on Thursday, March 9, featuring sustainable seafood cooking demos by local chefs:

  • Cody and Samantha Carroll, chefs and owners, Sac-A-Lait
  • Alan Ehrich, executive chef, Audubon Tea Room
  • Thad Davis, executive chef, Audubon Clubhouse

Gulf seafood will be donated by Whole Foods Market local purveyor Inland Seafood, and the chefs’ dishes will be paired with wine for attendees to enjoy.

 

WHEN: Thursday, Mar. 9, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Geaux Fish! exhibit, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal Street

 

HOW: Tickets are available at: http://seatotable.eventbrite.com. Cost is $40 per person with, all ticket sales benefiting Audubon G.U.L.F. and Louisiana Sea Grant.

 

WHY:  During the dinner, Audubon G.U.L.F. and Louisiana Sea Grant representatives will share information on Gulf of Mexico seafood and sustainable fishing practices, while Whole Foods Market team members will discuss the company’s sustainability efforts and ratings system.

FB17-009: NOAA Fisheries Issues New Decals and Fees for Gulf of Mexico Charter and Headboat Permits

Boats sail scene

By Julie Lively

KEY MESSAGE:

The SERO Permits office is now issuing one decal per fishery permit for the Gulf of Mexico Charter/Headboat for Reef Permit and Gulf of Mexico Charter/Headboat for Migratory Pelagics.  The SERO Permits office is also now charging a fee of $10 per decal.  If a permit holder has these two permits, they will be issued two (2) decals with a fee of $20.  This fee is in addition to the normal permit renewal fee.  This change became effective on February 14, 2017.

 

Please click here for the application and other information.

 

MORE INFORMATION: 

If you have further questions regarding this matter, please contact the SERO Permits office at the above address or by telephone at (727) 824-5326, or toll-free at (877) 376-4877, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

 

Delinquent Oyster Lease List Available Online

Louisiana Oysters

Credit: Julie Falgout

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is required to make public notice regarding the nonpayment of fees related to oyster leases on both its website and in the official journal of the parish in which the delinquent lease is located.

 

As per Louisiana Revised Statute 56:429, any lessee who pays their rent on or after the first day of February owes the rent due plus an additional 10 percent penalty. Failure of the lessee to pay the rent punctually on or before the first of each January, or within 60 days thereafter, terminates and cancels the lease and forfeits to the department all the works, improvements, betterments and oysters leased on the water bottom.

 

The list of delinquent leases is available HERE.  Notices will also be made to each lessee who has not yet paid their rent by certified mail. All fees must be collected by close of business on March 1, 2017.

LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant Bring Seafood Quality Training to Nunez Community College

chefs

Chef Chad Roig demonstrates cooking techniques and prepares a shrimp dish with Nunez culinary students. Photo Courtesy of Nunez Community College

Nunez Community College hosted the first Louisiana Direct Seafood Chefs Roundtable facilitated by the LSU Ag Center and the Louisiana Sea Grant on Wednesday, February 8. The purpose of the Chefs Roundtable is to connect fisherman who produce a premium product with area chefs and future chefs—culinary arts students. Collaborations between the fishing industry and chefs are mutually beneficial, supporting Louisiana agribusiness and ensuring that high quality local seafood is available to restaurants.

Louisiana Direct Seafood is a marketing initiative administered by LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant, with grant funding by the Louisiana Office of Community Development. This initiative is focused on quality business practices, working with fishermen to deliver a superior, sustainable product that meets rigorous standards and preserves our fisheries for generations to come.

 

Nunez students majoring in culinary arts as well as local fishermen and community partners attended the educational session on Wednesday, which included live demonstrations of best practices in cold chain management for getting fresh seafood to market. The LSU Ag Center and Louisiana Sea Grant have a mobile Seafood Quality Training Lab where they can provide hands-on learning about plate freezing, brine freezing, and vacuum packing of locally sourced seafood. New methods in seafood packaging help to support the quality and the price of the project, which in turn supports entrepreneurs and family businesses in the fishing and food industries.

“Our aim with this program is to create more value for local fishermen and chefs, using a renewable natural resource. We want fisherman and consumers to get more value out of the Louisiana seafood that is being caught.” explained Thomas Hymel of the LSU Ag Center.

A cooking demonstration with Chef Chad Roig, owner of Crave in Meraux, Louisiana was also a part of the day’s activities. Roig explained how he uses local seafood in his restaurant and prepared two shrimp dishes with Nunez’s culinary arts students.

“This was an incredible learning opportunity for our Nunez culinary students,” said culinary arts program manager Chef Ruth Varisco. “To be able to hear from people in all parts of the seafood industry gives our students a much more well-rounded understanding of Louisiana seafood, which will make them better chefs.”

LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest in Calcasieu Lake

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all oyster harvest in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Monday February 13th, 2017.

 

The oyster population in Calcasieu Lake has been in decline for several years and continued commercial harvest may threaten the long-term sustainability of remaining oyster resources in this public oyster area. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in this area.

 

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

To view a current map of the oyster closures, visit: 

http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons

Oyster Task Force to Meet February 15th at 1:00 P.M.

LA Oyster Logo

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting

John Tesvich, Chairman

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 1 p.m.

2021 Lakeshore Dr., STE 210

New Orleans, LA 70122

 

  1. Roll call and introduction of guests
  2.        Approval of January 17, 2016 Meeting Minutes and February 15, 2017 Agenda

III.       Treasury Report

  1. Oyster Tag Sales
  2. LOTF Financial Report
  3. Committee Reports
  4. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee  (Mitch Jurisich)
  5. Enforcement (Captain Chad Hebert)
  6. Legislative (Jakov Jurisic)
  7.      Research (Earl Melancon)
  8. Coastal Restoration (Dan Coulon)
  9.       Marketing (LDWF)
  10. Health (Lance Broussard)
  11.      Sustainability (LDWF)
  12. Professionalism (LDWF)
  13. To Consider Recommendations for the Oyster Seed Grounds Vessel Permit     Training Requirements
  14. Aquaculture (John Supan)
  15. New Business
  16. To Hear a Presentation on the 2017 Draft Coastal Master Plan- Bren Haase
  17. To Discuss the Interplay of Acts 570 and 595 and the Handling of Property Claims- OSL/ AG’s Office Rep
  18. Discussion of Sponsorship and Financial Polices and Procedures- Cara Tyler
  19. Public Comment

VII.        Set Next Meeting

VIII.       Adjourn
The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.  To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8200376903307566338

LWFC Passes Resolution to Recommend Adequately Evaluate Feral Hog Toxicants Before State Approval

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) passed a resolution at its Feb. 2 meeting in Baton Rouge, recommending the adequate evaluation of the feral hog toxicant Kaput and any other similar poisons prior to state approval to determine impacts on wildlife.

 

The resolution reads as follows: “The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) resolves that the LWFC recommends the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Louisiana Feral Hog Management Advisory Task Force (hereafter referred to as task force) should adequately evaluate the hog toxicant Kaput, as well as any additional toxicants that may be proposed in the future, prior to approval in Louisiana, as to its potential impacts on wildlife and the effects of consumption of those wildlife on humans.’’

 

LWFC Commissioner Bart Yakupzack of Lake Charles authored the resolution, which was passed unanimously by the commission.

 

“This resolution is consistent with recommendation No. 5 of the Task Force Report dated Feb. 1, 2017, which states that all feral hog toxicants must be evaluated by LDWF to ensure imposition of minimal risk to other wildlife species prior to the registration and legalization of the toxicant for use in Louisiana,’’ Yakupzack said.

 

The resolution came after a report from LDWF veterinarian Dr. Jim LaCour, a member of the task force.

 

During his presentation to the commission, LaCour said LDWF and the task force had many concerns about the toxicant, which has received conditional general licensure from the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Though general directions for use states that the bait may only be applied in special feeders with 8-10 pound lids, LaCour and the Task Force believe other species would be able to access the poison. LaCour said LDWF researchers have witnessed a raccoon lifting a 23-pound lid on a feeder. There is also a worry the toxicant could be ingested by non-target species of concern like the Louisiana black bear.

 

LaCour also stated that squirrels and other rodents could feed on bait dropped or scattered by feral hogs, which could lead to secondary intoxication of predators such as bobcats, owls, hawks, eagles and vultures.

 

“Though there are specific directions for the toxicant’s use”, LaCour told the commission “concerns are high for inappropriate use of the product, especially bait dumping on the ground by users.’’

 

For more information, contact Dr. Jim LaCour at jlacour@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-0823.

Changes to Yellowtail Snapper Gear Requirements and Fishing Year

YELLOW-TAIL

NOAA Fisheries announces a final rule for for yellowtail snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf).  This rule modifies the gear requirement for the commercial harvest and adjusts the fishing year for both commercial and recreational fishermen.

 

WHEN RULE WILL TAKE EFFECT:

  • The final rule will be effective on March 13, 2017

WHAT THIS MEANS:

  • Removal of a requirement to use circle hooks when fishing with natural bait for the commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper south of Cape Sable, Florida, in the Gulf.  Specifically, the requirement would apply in the area south of a line extending due west from 25°09′ North latitude off the west coast of Monroe County, Florida, to the Gulf and South Atlantic inter-council boundary.
  • Adjustment of the commercial and recreational fishing year for yellowtail snapper in the Gulf from January 1 through December 31, to August 1 through July 31 to coincide with the fishing year for this species in the South Atlantic.

 

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBERFR#2017-02786, published February 10, 2017.

 

This bulletin serves as a Small Entity Compliance Guide, complying with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

 

 

  

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Why should J-hooks be allowed for commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper? 

  • Yellowtail snapper are primarily caught around the southern half of Florida, with the majority of landings coming from the Florida Keys.
  • Circle hooks are required when fishing with natural bait for reef fish, including yellowtail snapper, in federal waters of the Gulf.  The use of circle hooks is intended to reduce discard mortality caused from fish being gut-hooked by J-hooks.
  • For the commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper, the fishermen attract the fish to the surface using chum and then use small hooks with natural bait and cane poles or spinning reels to catch yellowtail snapper.  The use of J-hooks for this method allows for decreased handling times due to quicker dehooking methods for retained fish.

Why is the fishing season being changed for both the recreational and commercial harvest of yellowtail snapper?

  • Yellowtail snapper are primarily caught around the southern half of Florida, with the majority of landings coming from the Florida Keys.
  • The proposed rule would modify the yellowtail snapper fishing year in the Gulf, making it consistent with the new fishing year in the South Atlantic.  Having the same fishing year for both the Gulf and South Atlantic would benefit the fishermen that harvest yellowtail snapper in both regions.

 Where can I find more information on this action?

  • Contact NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

By Mail: Cynthia Meyer

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By FAX: (727) 824-5308

By Phone: (727) 824-5305

 

Yellowtail Framework may be found online at the NOAA Fisheries Southeast Regional Office Web site at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/2016/yellowtail_snapper_framework/index.html