The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission passed a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Notice of Intent at their March meeting.
The VMS is meant to maximize voluntary compliance with shrimping regulations and to reduce purposeful shrimping violations by providing adequate deterrence.
A VMS is required for any person subject to a court order that requires monitoring for the duration specifed in the court order and any person having two or more convictions in the last five years for harvesting shrimp during a closed season for a period of three years from the date of the most recent conviction. People with three or more convictions in the last five years for harvesting shrimp during a closed season will be monitored for 10 years from the date of the most recent conviction.
Commercial fishermen subject to monitoring shall not be present on board any vessel harvesting or possessing shrimp or which has any trawl, skimmer or butterfly net on board unless the vessel is equipped with and is using an approved VMS.
Any vessel that will have a monitored person on board must first notify the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) of the VMS installation. Furthermore, VMS units must be approved, certified, installed and fully operational on any vessel carrying a monitored person.
Public comment for this notice of intent may be submitted to Maj. Jeff Mayne, Law Enforcement Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898 prior to May 4.
EDITORS: For more information, contact Maj. Jeff Mayne at 225-765-2980 or firstname.lastname@example.org.