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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Chenier Ecology > 2010 > 1-10

Resources & Publications:  Chenier Ecology

January 2010

Fisheries Recovery Program Launched

It is estimated that the total fisheries infrastructure and economic loss from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 totaled more than $750 million. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) was charged with the coordination and distribution of federal recovery funds to the fishing industry for those storms. A $41 million Katrina and Rita program began in May 2008.

LDWF and the Louisiana Recovery Authority recently announced a $32.7 million program for fishing industry recovery from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Funding is through the Community Development Block Grant program from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program will include a grant and loan program for commercial fishers, an infrastructure repair program for coastal fishing communities, assistance for seafood dealers and brokers who received damage, and a fishing efficiency program aimed at making boats and fishing gear more fuel-efficient and cost-effective.

The grants and loans and the gear efficiency program will total $15.2 million; the coastal communities program is $8.5 million; and the seafood dealer program will be $9 million. The Gustav and Ike recovery program will be different from the Katrina/Rita program in that it will offer participants an opportunity to upgrade fishing gear which is more fuel efficient, more environmentally friendly, and produces a higher quality product. The goals of this new program are:

  • To stabilize the Louisiana seafood industry by making harvesters and processors more efficient. 
  • To provide technology upgrades and training which will produce a higher quality product.
  • To improve marketing of high quality Louisiana seafood.

This program is expected to be a long-term project which will revolutionize the Louisiana seafood industry by making it more competitive and sustainable in the global market. Anyone involved in the seafood industry is advised to sign up for this program by filling out a one-page registration form. The forms are available through the LSU AgCenter office in Grand Lake, the Cameron Economic Development Office at South Cameron Hospital or online at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/disasterrecovery/.

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