Comments from oyster fishermen who, when asked, “In which of the following areas do you do MOST of your fishing activity?” answered,
Breton Sound/South Pass & eastward
We will be out of business!
We have already seen the effects of the Caernarvon Diversion. Too much fresh water will put us out of business. We would have to work in the Gulf of Mexico and our boats are not large enough or equipped for that.
State needs to adapt to us a bit.
Note made next to question 5: "Dredge Not Divert". Response to question 7: "Mardi Gras Pass is flowing put it [diversion] there. Black Bay is DEAD! (followed by personal signature)
Look at maps from 15-20 years ago. Past the double pipeline [you see] minimal change [land loss]. The only difference was Carnarvon Syphon.
It's hard to change fishing practices because of the price of equipment and the prices we get for the product; it’s not cost effective. Stop putting diversions.
Freshwater diversions are crazy, it doesn't work, science is wrong!! 55 years on the water.
Adjusting to changes that are occurring naturally isn’t that hard. Adjusting to these changes [from diversions] will be drastic and detrimental to our way of life. I can’t pick up my oyster leases and move them somewhere else. Shrimping and crabbing may be a little less affected but dumping all that freshwater in our estuary will destroy them too!
Lift oyster lease moratorium so land with more suitable salinity levels may be leased. Enforce land lease limits so land that is leased by one individual or company is utilized. Increase marketing for shrimp so a profitable price is established.
STOP DIVERSIONS! Too much freshwater is changing the ecosystem of estuaries. Prime example, Plaquemines Parish east bank: salinity level is too low, all the marsh is dying off, oysters are dead, no brown shrimp, no speckled trout, dying industry.
Oyster production has to have the correct salinity to survive. In every area where fresh water has taken over, oysters no longer exist. I have been buying new leases in different areas, buying and planting cultch material, and building a larger faster boat to maintain and fish these grounds further from the dock in order to survive in this business. Many other fishermen have been driven from their industry because fresh water and many more will also fall. SAD!
I believe that there should be a state mandate for all businesses that sell oysters to require them to keep all shells used and returned to state reefs. Put dump trailers behind every restaurant, shucking houses, etc. Have weekly pickups and dumps. Have a place to dump that is water accessible and have fishermen return the shells to the reef. Fishermen make money, truck drivers make money, we restore reefs, everyone benefits!
Fishing industries must be allowed to coexist with the implementation of restoration projects. Thus the demise of our estuaries should be a non starter for any planned [projects].