Comments from oyster fishermen who, when asked, “In which of the following areas do you do MOST of your fishing activity?” answered,
Barataria Basin/Southwest Pass & westward
The state agencies are going to have to adjust as well as the user groups. Policies, laws, etc are going to have to adjust as well.
State needs to adapt to us a bit.
Note made next to question 5: "No Money!". Note made next to question 6: "No Money". Response to question 7: "If we cannot catch anything, where will the money come from to make the changes to my boat and equipment?"
Note made next to question 1: "The big question mark is what happens with diversions." Note made next to question 4 response (Over the last 5-10 years - somewhat worse): "Because of existing river diversions." Note made next to question 4 response (Over the next 5-10 years - somewhat worse): "Because of proposed river diversions". Note made next to question 5 response (Add refrigeration equipment - Somewhat Likely): "for summer months". Note made next to question 5 response (Modify your boat to reduce fuel use - Somewhat Likely): "regardless of changing coastal conditions". In response to question 7: "The commercial fishermen of this community have had to adjust for years over time because of natural changes in the environment, as well as small human/environment interactions. A huge change will require a huge adjustment. Why are the commercial fishermen so often collateral damage when it comes to coastal restoration? **Stop major diversion projects that severely impact the ecosystem. Oyster related: Allow adjacent leaseholders to lease new water bottoms as marshland disappears. (Get first crack at new leases). Restrict imports further so that we get more dollars for what we catch (that may be limited in the future). If we can't fish our old areas, we have to go to new areas. Thus, we have to compete with fishermen already fishing in that new area."
Note made by question 1 (Commercial Fisher): "Shrimp, Crab, Fish". Note made by question 4 (Over the last 5-10 years): "Much worse since CPRA took control of diversions". Response to question 7: They will not be able to adjust without having a real voice and vote on coastal restoration projects and regulations.
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.
It can't adjust, they already broke the industry.
A. We need a clean environment. B. Please identify problems. C. Provide funds to stay in business. D. NO DAMN DIVERSIONS.
LA. Cannot enjoy current fisheries in Mississippi River water. However, you may want to discuss how diversions will affect other gulf coast states as the loss of seafood production will affect them.
Over the past 50 or so years the industry has successfully adapted to the gradual changes faced by an ever changing coast. I believe that the changes proposed by some of the industry's efforts are geared towards rapid changes to the ecosystem. They also seem to lack operational guidelines (on what is to be maintained as available habitat for different species) mostly related to large scale diversions. If determined by river levels and sediment load alone, it would seem that seafood production [will] become subjected to a wide range of unpredictable levels of production and survival of certain species!
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 of fresh water, and many more will also fall. SAD!
A lot of changes do not have to happen in Southeast Louisiana fisheries if the state would scrap their plans for massive, polluted, river water diversions. The state is going to needlessly destroy our fishing grounds. The adaptation needs to occur with the state not our fishing communities. Salinity is the key to healthy estuarine ecosystems, not polluted river water.