Louisiana is the second largest state for commercial fishing in the country, second only to Alaska. In 2012, over 1.6 million pounds of fish were landed in Louisiana, only slightly less than the more than 1.7 million landed in 2011. In fact, the majority of seafood harvested from the Gulf of Mexico lands in Louisiana.
Types of Seafood
Although fish make up the majority of the seafood caught in Louisiana, other types of seafood make up a large portion of the economy as well. Fish, such as trout, snapper, grouper and tuna are harvested each year, while blue crabs, shrimp and oysters make up much of the shellfish market in the state. Commercial fishermen also harvest crawfish and finfish from the freshwaters in the state.
Commercial Fishing Requirements
In Louisiana, the definition of a commercial fisherman is anyone who derives income from harvesting fish, although prizes in tournaments or contests are not considered income. Anyone who engages in the sale of seafood must possess a valid commercial fishing license, available from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Anyone engaged in commercial fishing must have the license on the vessel, and anyone operating a vessel for the purpose of commercial fishing must also have a valid gear license if they are fishing below the saltwater line.
Commercial fishermen who are harvesting particular types of seafood also must obtain special permits. These include:
•Oysters – Oyster Harvester’s License
•Mullet with Mullet Strike Net – Mullet Permit
•Mussels – Mussel Harvester Permit
•Spotted Sea Trout – Spotted Sea Trout Permit
•Shark – Shark Permit
•Pompano – Pompano Permit
Vessels harvesting oysters in some areas must also carry an Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit.
There are other regulations related to commercial fishing in Louisiana, and more information is available online or at places like Alario Brothers. This commercial fishing store is where you can find gear and information about the commercial fishing industry in Louisiana.