Release Date: 09/19/2006

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries personnel will be conducting a one-year survey of commercial crab fishermen beginning Oct. 1, 2006 and ending Sept. 30, 2007. 

The goal of the project is to interview specific numbers of crab fishermen across all coastal basins during a series of two-month periods to collect data on the number and types of gear used, soak times, crew size, trip length and bait types used.  The project will be funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and administered through the Gulf State Marine Fisheries Commission.

LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists will interview fishermen who purchase crabs at wholesale-retail seafood dealer locations.  The voluntary survey will be brief and can be completed in a few minutes.  The total number of interviews targeted for the year is 816.  Data obtained in this survey will be merged with trip ticket report data to generate basin-specific data on crab fishing efforts, harvest and other variables in the fishery.  The results of this survey will enhance LDWF's ability to manage the crab fishery.

Blue crabs support one of Louisiana's most valuable commercial fisheries.  In 2005, LDWF issued 2,996 resident commercial crab trap gear licenses and Louisiana blue crab landings for that year totaled 37.9 million pounds worth approximately $38 million at the dockside level.  According to a 2005 published report prepared for LDWF by Southwick Associates, the Louisiana commercial blue crab fishery in 2003 contributed an estimated $298 million in total economic effect.

For more information, contact Vince Guillory at 985-594-4130 or vguillory@wlf.louisiana.gov.