The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reminds shrimpers who are actively participating in rescue or recovery efforts related to the sunken Seacor Power lift boat in both state and federal waters that turtle excluder devices (TEDs) must be completely removed and nets must have a tail bag that has at least 4-inch mesh webbing.
The initial search effort began following the April 13 vessel accident in federal waters south of Port Fourchon in the Gulf of Mexico. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which regulates shrimp gear used in federal waters, issued the shrimp gear guidance for shrimpers who were actively involved in rescue and recovery efforts.
LDWF’s Enforcement Division, in an effort to be consistent with NOAA’s regulations, are enforcing those shrimp gear restrictions in state waters as well for those vessels participating in the recovery efforts. Any vessel actively fishing for shrimp in state waters, if such waters are open, must adhere to all legal gear requirements.
As you are aware, shrimp season is currently closed. The Governor appreciates and supports those who are willing and able to assist in the important recovery efforts that are underway, which is why he has allowed exemptions to the current gear regulations in state waters that would both allow shrimpers to participate while also aligning with the federal policies that are in place at this time in federal waters.