Herring nets abandoned by commercial fishermen in Louisiana

net with herring and bycatch
Louisiana appears to have abandoned about 500,000 pounds of herring and bycatch.
Courtesy of the Louisiana Coast Guard

The Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) reports that in the shallow waters of Louisiana, a huge net filled with nearly 1 million herring—and by-fish such as red drums—was unable to hoist large numbers of fish on it. Catch – Abandoned and photographed. The net ship mothership.

“CCA has received numerous reports and photos of what appears to be an abandoned herring net south of Holly Beach in Cameron Parish,” CCA Louisiana Executive Director David Cresson told the Louisiana Athlete. “In the photos we received, the internet appeared to be full of silver carp and other species. We also received numerous reports of dead redfish, drums and other species found in the water and on beaches.”

At a meeting of the national fisheries “Finfish Task Force”, a representative from Omega Protein, a commercial fishing operator, said the nets containing the dead fish belonged to Omega, Cresson said.

“According to the representative, there were approximately 900,000 plaice in the net, estimated to weigh up to 500,000 pounds,” Cresson said. “By-catch (other fish accidentally trapped in the net) was not estimated. The representative reported that the net was cut after the crew realized there were more fish in the net than they could safely catch.”

louisiana athlete Those who saw the nets full of dead fish believed the water in which the nets occurred was too shallow for the mother boat to reach the trawler without running aground, the report said. As a result, nets are cut and dead baitfish and by-catch are wasted.

Commercial net harvesting of herring has been controversial in recent years due to the high volume of the important baitfish produced by commercial fishermen. The commercial industry collects many pogies for use in paints, cosmetics and many other products.

But herring is also an important bait fish for important coastal prey species, from tarpon and snooker to redfish, flounder, king and Spanish mackerel, cobia, bass, jack and many others.

Take away large quantities of bait and prey species will suffer, and recreational anglers are concerned about the seemingly endless onslaught of massive herring schools, especially in coastal Louisiana and the Chesapeake Bay.

“It’s inexcusable to see this waste on the Louisiana coast,” Chris Macaluso, director of marine fisheries for Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, told the Louisiana Athlete. “Even more disturbing, the (Louisiana) Department of Wildlife and Fisheries considers a million pounds of dead fish in this abandoned net to be insignificant. Just as they consider 10,000 or more breeding-sized redfish, the The department estimates that the number of fishing boats killed each year is insignificant.

“Enough is enough. Recreational anglers are disgusted by this activity and they have every right to do it.”

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