Fisheries Access in the 2012 Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast

WHEREAS, more than 13,000 Louisiana commercial fishers gain support for their families by annually harvesting about a billion pounds of saltwater species, having a dockside value in 2011 of $341,000,000; and

WHEREAS, thousands more Louisianans are employed in the processing and sale of this harvest, adding millions more dollars to Louisiana’s economy; and

WHEREAS, over 400,000 Louisianans participate in the recreational harvest of these species, which also adds greatly to the Louisiana economy; and

WHEREAS, the majority of Louisiana’s recreationally and commercially important fishery species spawn in the Gulf of Mexico, and their young subsequently migrate into the coastal marshes, use the marshes as a nursery for a relatively short time, and then migrate back to the Gulf and eventually spawn to complete the cycle; and

WHEREAS, the young of many species are not limited to use of the saline portion of the marshes, but can be found well above the saltwater/freshwater line; and

WHEREAS, solid levees completely block migratory pathways to and from the nursery, and water control structures can seriously impede both immigration into, and emigration from, the nursery, thus potentially causing significant harm to our fisheries and Louisiana’s economy; and

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation reiterates its support of Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast (as expressed in Resolution 7B adopted at the 2012 annual convention) but recognizes the need to protect our fisheries.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that, in the spirit of the section on Hurricane Protection page 32 of the Master Plan, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation reiterates the need that levees be designed and built such that adequate passage of fisheries organisms is assured through the levees, both to and from, the area landward of the levees.

Resolution No. 3A, 2013 – FISHERIES ACCESS IN 2012 MASTER PLAN, Page 2

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that, in the spirit of Objectives 2 and 3, pages 2 and 3 of the Master Plan, the Louisiana Wildlife Federation reiterates that water control structures must be designed, built, and operated such that fishery organism passage through the structures, in both directions, is maximized to the extent possible without significantly compromising the ability of the structures to achieve their ecological function and water control purposes.

Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, February 24, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 8,500 members and 25 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Resolution #:3A, 2013
Date Proposed:02/24/2013
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