Many people can barely remember the last time they had a dish of blackened redfish and knew their entrÃ©e came from Louisiana waters. The commercial harvest of the famous fish was outlawed in the '90s during a debate over banning gill nets; speckled trout survived the ban, although fishermen chasing the tricky spotted fish were restricted to using only rod and reel, rather than nets. That could soon be a thing of the past.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee will soon hear legislation by Woodworth Democratic Sen. Joe McPherson that would restrict specks to only recreational fishing. If the bill passes as is, Louisiana speckled trout would be removed from restaurant menus, market freezers and other retail outlets. The coming debate will be emotional as commercial fishermen, still reeling from last year's hurricane season, try to save one of their remaining economic channels. ' Jeremy Alford
OYSTER FISHERMEN NEED FEDERAL CASH TO REBUILD
Elsewhere in the Gulf seafood industry, the Louisiana Oyster Task Force is trying to implement a plan with federal money that could resuscitate its industry. Prior to last year's season, Louisiana harvested almost 40 percent of the nation's oysters, but the 2005 hurricanes destroyed 400 million pounds more than the annual average output. Furthermore, the storms damaged boats, docks and other infrastructure and displaced hundreds of workers.
"The Louisiana Oyster Recovery Plan" is broken down into five sections: vessels and locks, harvest areas, unloading facilities, processing plants and market development. A cornerstone of the plan is the removal of debris from oyster beds. Oysters suffocated after the storms buried them in silt and mud, and they won't be able to return to their habitat until the debris is removed. "We're currently trying to secure the money to implement this plan," says Mike Voisin, chairman of the government agency. "Funds are earmarked for it in a Senate bill, and we're going to Washington to drum up support." ' JA
THE ONE THAT LOOKS LIKE A BOOT
A poll conducted by National Geographic magazine recently revealed that one-third of respondents couldn't find Louisiana on a map ' you know, Louisiana, the state that has received international press attention since last fall. Nearly half of the 510 individuals polled couldn't find Mississippi, either. The survey helped launch a multimedia campaign called "My Wonderful World" that will target children 8 to 17 and encourage parents and educators to spend more time on geography. ' JA
SPEAKING OF GEOGRAPHY LESSONS ...
The Daily Advertiser had another one of its memorable front-page blunders last week. In its lead story Friday on hurricane planning for 2006, The Advertiser wrote, "Katrina made landfall around the Texas-Louisiana state line." ' Scott Jordan
Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
The Saints are being cautious in an effort to minimize risk of re-injury.
LSU Health Sciences Center says people with a common, hard-to-treat kind of lung cancer can join a new national trial to test drugs faster.
As New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis spoke about the opening of training camp, steep, tree-covered mountains were in full view behind them.
The family of fallen cyclist Lon Lomas is speaking out after the release this week of the man charged with his death.
"The solutions are obvious: undo consolidation, or amend the charter to make this hybrid attempt at a new form of government work better."
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Marijuana source of disputes for HOAs; experts say still safe to fly; Russian-supported attacks on Ukraine and more national and international news for Friday, July 25, 2014.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is considering whether to get involved in a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal for his attempts to undermine use of the Common Core education standards in Louisiana's public schools.
The latest meeting of a south Louisiana flood board that stirred political turmoil with a lawsuit against the oil and gas industry is taking place amid uncertainty over the future of the lawsuit — and the board's own membership.
The photos taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.
Advocate columnist and Jindal shill Quin Hillyer has been against the New Orleans levee board lawsuit from day one, but a recent piece targeting author/activist John Barry prompted the perfect rebuttal from the board’s former vice-president, who takes Hillyer to task on just about every distorted claim he’s made on the issue.
Thousands of people who bought health insurance through the marketplace created by the federal health care overhaul face price hikes next year that could top 10 percent.
Louisiana fell one spot in an annual national ranking of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access.
A federal judge has decided he doesn't need to hear more arguments in the case of a gay couple who want a Louisiana marriage license.
Saints again bring playoff aspirations into 2014 campaign.
New details in the case against the man arrested for last week’s bomb threat and bank robbery has surfaced, including a MidSouth Bank surveillance video showing the alleged suspect attempt an early-morning bank robbery.
Parents and teachers who support the Common Core education standards sued Gov. Bobby Jindal Tuesday over his actions against the multi-state standards, accusing him of illegally meddling in education policy.
An arrest was announced this morning in connection with last week’s bomb scare at UL Lafayette.
Attorneys, judges and others interviewed by LaPolitics expect 15 to 20 district judge races this year.
"I feel like I'm under siege," an attorney said recently over drinks at Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge. "We all do. Every time I turn around somebody wants a check. District attorney races. The judges. They're killing us."
As a requirement for running for Congress in the 6th District, former Gov. Edwin Edwards has filed his financial disclosure statement with the U.S. House showing his income in 2013 totaling $242,787.
Unlike those swindled by Bernie Madoff, the victims of Texas businessman Robert Allen Stanford’s Ponzi scheme won’t be getting any relief from the Securities Investor Protection Corp.’s emergency fund after a recent appellate court ruling.
The legal challenge is part of a continuing struggle over Common Core, which has become controversial since the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted the standards in 2010.
The lone Democrat to announce he's running for governor, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, criticized Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's budgeting tactics as "running the state like a big Ponzi scheme."