State tightens restrictions on red snapper fishing
The state department of Wildlife and Fisheries has set
tighter restrictions for fishing of red snapper, whose Gulf population is still
struggling to rebound. The red snapper catch limit for
recreational fishermen remains at two, which was set last year and is down from
the previous limit of four per person. However, this year’s season for catching
red snapper has been shortened by more than two months. Recreational red
snapper fishing now runs from June 1 through Sept. 30. Commercial fishermen, who must qualify for an allotment of the overall commercial harvest, also face stricter limits.
Wildlife and Fisheries spokesman Harry Blanchet says
the new regulations on based on standards set by the National Marine Fisheries
Service. The federal agency has set this year’s total allowable catch for red
snapper at 5 million pounds. This is down from a total allowable catch of 6.5
million pounds last year and 9.12 million pounds in 2006. “The estimates are
that we are substantially below the biomass that is required for the
conservation standards,” Blanchet says, “Red snapper at the current time is
estimated to be overfished and having overfishing occurring.” Overall, Blanchet
says that fisheries agencies are still trying to find the right regulations to
allow the red snapper populations recover. Red snapper was first identified by
scientists as being severely overfished in 1989, largely due to the heavy
amounts of young fish getting pulled up as bycatch in shrimping nets. A 2005
assessment estimated the red snapper spawning population to be three percent of
its historical abundance. The National Marine Fisheries Service is scheduled to
conduct another assessment in 2010.
There will soon be a whole lot of shakin’ going on at Benny’s Sportshack Supplement Depot, a new concept by Opelousas native Benny Nele. Located at 2002 Johnston St., the supplement shop, smoothie bar and café, featuring hot off the press paninis and wraps, plans to open in late May.
Philip deMahy Sr., a once respected New Iberia ad exec, was sentenced May 2 to spend the next two years (he faced up to 100 years) in a state penitentiary after state and federal investigators found dozens of images depicting children engaged in lewd sexual acts on his personal computer.