Below is a brief summary of the bills signed into law by the governor from the 2016 regular session pertaining to fisheries and the seafood industry. Additional information about each can be found by searching at http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillSearch.aspx?sid=LAST.
HB290 GISCLAIR Signed by the Governor – Act 133
FISHING/OYSTERS: Changes the name of certain oyster harvest gear from “dredge” to “scraper” and limits scrapers to 54 inches and no more than 175 lbs. Attachments that would create downward pressure are prohibited, and no more than two scrapers can be in use at any one time.
SB161 CHABERT Signed by the Governor – Act 299
SEAFOOD: Provides for exceptions from the retail seafood dealer’s license for restaurants and grocers preparing for immediate consumption. The cooking requirement is removed.
HB188 S.BISHOP Signed by the Governor – Act 241
FISHING: Adds alligator in the Louisiana Catch and Cook Program
HB303 LEOPOLD Signed by the Governor – Act 276
FISHING/OYSTERS: Beginning in license year 2017, requires successful completion of an oyster harvester education program prior to applying for an oyster harvester license. Requires the Dept. of Wildlife and Fisheries to develop an oyster harvester education program for the purpose of developing professionalism in the oyster harvest industry. Requires the oyster harvester education program to include training in the La. Shellfish Sanitation Program. Further requires the oyster harvester education program to include best practices for conservation of the species.
HB636 LEOPOLD Signed by the Governor – Act 291
FISHING/OYSTERS: Amends the public oyster seed ground vessel permit increasing the fees and provides for an apprentice program to be eligible to get a new permit.
HB423 S.BISHOP Signed by the Governor – Act 114
FISHING: Includes reptile and amphibian wholesale/retail dealers in the trip ticket program
HB332 MONTOUCET Signed by the Governor – Act 219
AGRICULTURE: Modifies the composition of the La. Crawfish Promotion and Research Board including reducing the number of board members from 13 to 11.