Fisheries Disaster Assistance Program

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) launched a $41 million federal fisheries disaster assistance program in May 2008 to assist the commercial and recreational fishing industry following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  Funding for this program is part of supplemental appropriation from the U.S. Congress allocated to Louisiana for fisheries disaster assistance aimed at providing direct assistance to the commercial and recreational fishing industry.  Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) through the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission (GSMFC).

Who is eligible?

LDWF has distributed personal assistance payments for urgent needs to qualified residents who participated in the commercial fishing industries. Louisiana resident commercial fishermen, commercial fishing vessel license holders and wholesale/retail seafood dealers with trip ticket-recorded sales or purchases of seafood between September 1, 2004 and August 31, 2005, and who resided in the 26 LDWF-defined hurricane impacted parishes qualified for personal assistance.

Those qualifying for assistance must have trip ticket sales or purchases of seafood during the qualifying period AND held one or more licenses as follows:

  • Shrimp, oyster, crab, and saltwater finfish fishermen

  • Shrimp fishermen with a demonstrated record of compliance with turtle excluder device (TED)and bycatch reduction (BRD) regulations

  • Commercial fishing vessel license holders in the shrimp, oyster, saltwater fish and menhaden fisheries

  • Wholesale/retail seafood dealers

  • Freshwater finfish and wild crawfish fishermen

  • Charterboat operators who held a LDWF charterboat fishing guide license in fishing year 2004 or 2005 (through August 31, 2005)

Important Information & Deadlines for Program Participants

  • In May and June 2008, nearly 9,000 application packets were mailed to eligible participants.

  • Beginning in June 2008, the first payments were mailed.

  • Reminder notices were mailed in June 2008.

  • The deadline was extended from September 1 to December 1, 2008.

  • The reconsideration deadline expired February 27, 2009.

  • The first round of payments was completed in December 2008.

  • Reconsideration payments were completed in September 2009.


  • Note:  LDWF distributed direct assistance payments in the order in which applications were reviewed and accepted for completeness.



South Central Planning and Development Commission (SCPDC)
1-800-630-3791 (toll free)
985-655-1051 (local)
P.O. Box 1240
Gray, LA 70359-9902

**It is estimated that the total infrastructure and economic loss from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008 totaled over $750 million. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was charged with the coordination and distribution of federal recovery funds to the fishing industry.**