The commercial fishing industry in Louisiana has experienced changes within its demographics. Specifically, issues include aging of the fleet, (i.e., an increase in the average age of fishing vessels over time) and the graying of the fleet (i.e., an increase over time in the average age of fishing workers). While not unique to Louisiana, these changes must be addressed in order to maintain the economic viability of the commercial fishing industry into the future.
The graying of the fleet was the subject of an interactive session held at the Louisiana Fisheries Forward Summit (LFF) March 11, 2020 at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, LA. The session, entitled “Fishing for the Future,” was a moderated panel discussion in which representatives of the fishing industry discussed challenges and potential solutions to sustain the economic viability of the commercial fishing industry. The session focused primarily on socioeconomic considerations including changing human capital dynamics in the fishing and seafood industries.
The target audience was Summit attendees working in Louisiana fisheries-dependent businesses including commercial fishermen1, seafood docks and dealers, processors, retailers and charter operations. Audience input to the panel was collected in real-time throughout the session with active respondents providing input to 15 questions via electronic polling devices. This report summarizes the Background, Rationale, Format, Methods and Results of that session.