The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a declaration of emergency that suspends entry into the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program for those seeking a new commercial crab gear license.
LDWF’s recent blue crab stock assessment revealed that the blue crab fishery may be undergoing “overfishing”, a threshold where management action is needed. Today’s action aims to prevent increased fishing pressure and mortality by temporarily prohibiting new entrants into the fishery until more permanent regulatory and legislative measures can be developed to address the reduced stock status.
The Louisiana Crab Task Force requested that the department suspend entry into the fishery while they work with LDWF to identify the least invasive changes to the industry that will also protect the crab resource.
The Louisiana Fisheries Forward was implemented in November of 2014 and requires training for fishermen obtaining crab trap gear licenses who did not possess a commercial crab trap gear license in two out of the four years, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.