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Home > Resources & Publications > Newsletters & Magazines > Fins and Waters > 2009 > 07-09

Resources & Publications:  Fins & Waters

July 2009

Gustav, Ike Fisheries Assistance
(Note: Kevin Savoie is filling in for Glenn Thomas this month for Fins & Waters)

The Gustav/Ike Fisheries Assistance Program has officially begun. T he Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) launched a $30 million reimbursement program, designed in collaboration with the Louisiana Recovery Authority (LRA), to assist the commercial fishing industry that suffered damages from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.  

The program, created with other state partners, is designed to ensure these funds are invested back into the fishing industry that is so vital to our state and our nation. Funding for this program comes from a $40 million appropriation by Congress and allocated to Louisiana for fisheries disaster assistance to the commercial fishing industry under sections 308(b) and 308(d) of the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act (16 U.S.C. 4107) (NOAA Grant Number NA09NMF4520024).

More than 4,000 packets were mailed to commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail seafood dealers who were determined prequalified for this program based on the following criteria:

1) Reported sales or purchases on LDWF trip tickets during Sept. 1, 2005, through Aug. 31, 2008, (and received by LDWF by Nov. 30, 2008) for crab, oyster, shrimp, saltwater finfish and menhaden.

2) Held a 2008 resident Louisiana commercial fishing or wholesale/retail dealer license.

After completely filling out the forms, participants must return the documents in the business-reply envelope provided no later than Sept. 30, 2009. Once qualified by returning this form, participants will have until Sept. 30, 2010 to make reimbursable purchases.

The program will provide reimbursement to Louisiana resident commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail seafood dealers who provide acceptable receipts/invoices documenting expenses of eligible items. Examples of acceptable recovery related expenses are: 1) repairs to boats, motors and engines; 2) drydocking expenses; 3) rental of freezer trucks and/or generators; and 4) cost of insurance premiums. Original receipts are required, not copies.

The program is administered through the South Central Planning and Development Commission (1-800-630-3791) or (985-655-1051) or www.scpdc.org/fisheriesassistance.

A satellite office will be set up in Lake Charles at 120 Pujo Street and will be opened the second Tuesday and Wednesday of each month for those needing assistance.

Kevin Savoie is a natural resources and fisheries agent based in Lake Charles for the Louisiana Sea Grant Program and the Louisiana State University AgCenter. He can be reached at ksavoie@agcenter.lsu.edu.

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