Louisiana Oyster Resource Strategic Plan

Louisiana Oyster Resource Strategic Plan
Randy Pausina | Governor’s Oyster Advisory Committee| Nov. 29
Mission Statement
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Office of Fisheries is
charged with the protection, conservation and replenishment of
Louisiana’s renewable, aquatic natural resources, including Louisiana
oysters. This crucial task has never been as important as it is today, in the
wake of both natural and man-made disasters Louisiana’s coast has
endured in the past seven years.
LDWF strives continuously to be a leading source of information for the
seafood industry and on the cutting edge of the latest technologies and
industry concepts.
The goal of this plan is to provide a clear path to recovery for
Louisiana’s oyster resource, ensuring its future for generations to
To date, the state of Louisiana has dedicated more than $18 million
in restoration dollars to this plan.
Objective #1 – Ensure Oyster Resource is Maintained at Current or
Higher Level
Objective #1
• Develop innovative techniques of oyster harvesting and
• Maintain and further explore current efforts to augment natural
spat set
• Maintain and further explore alternative cultivation methods.
Objective #1
Action Plan
Oversee the construction of the new state-of-the-art Oyster Hatchery
Research Facility on Grand Isle, to further develop past and current
concepts, as well as cultivate new methods to help advance the
Establish Oyster Hatchery as hub of oyster research and direct
additional dollars to fund university researchers.
Carry out a Remote Setting Program that will utilize Louisiana’s oyster
industry with bedding and seeding activities.
Annually identify and direct remote-setting or pre-set cultch material
to areas with low natural spat
Objective #1
Action Plan (cont.)
Continue to research less expensive, alternative cultch materials such
as concrete (run-off), fly ash, gypsum and bentonite with the goal to
allow for more economical cultch plants.
Develop an off-bottom cultivation program in the coming year, as
directed by Act 293 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislature, aimed at
creating an unconventional method of oyster production with the goal
to help ensure the stability of the oyster industry and increase
production levels .
Seek input from industry members to further enhance efficiency of
cultch plants currently in place and pursue additional locations for
future sites.
Objective #2 - Enhance state’s oyster resources
Objective #2
• Enhance state’s monitoring initiatives – Historically, the state’s
oyster monitoring efforts have focused on Public Oyster Seed
grounds only, which prohibited the state from seeing the entire
picture. Capturing more information will allow the state to
better recover from future man-made and natural events, such
as oil spills, hurricanes, freshwater diversions or coastal
restoration activities.
Objective #2
Action Plan
Expand current biological monitoring – LDWF plans to continue their
already expansive biological monitoring, and expand to a basin-wide
approach. The expansion of biological monitoring will also include
private leases, totaling 400,000 acres and all of the state’s waterbottoms, to aid biologists in further understanding Louisiana’s dynamic
and fragile ecosystem.
Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) – continue implementation of and
maintain funds for the Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Pilot Program,
which requires oyster vessels fishing on the public seed grounds to
have a LDWF-provided VMS.
Objective #3: Increase Oyster Acreage
Objective #3
• Reevaluate Public Seed Grounds – LDWF continues to
investigate potential development opportunities and
reallocation of public oyster seed grounds.
• Allow private lease holders the ability to expand and diversify
Objective #3
Action Plan
Properly classify current public seed grounds viability, through sidescan sonar to assess bottom type and industry input.
Evaluate new oyster lease areas within some waters currently
managed as Public Seed Grounds.
Create oyster moratorium lifting plan through a phased approach. The
first step being galvanizing the vision of the industry through outreach
to key user groups and the second step being the creation of
Objective #4: Educate industry on best business practices and latest industry
Objective #4
• Professionalism of the Industry - create a better-informed and
more efficient commercial fishing industry. The intent of this
effort by LDWF is to protect the reputation of our commercial
seafood industry: an industry of culture and heritage. Once in
place, this program will provide ongoing education
opportunities for fishermen and industry participants to receive
the most relevant and up-to date information as it pertains to
their industry.
Objective #4
Action Plan
Create curriculum and course content that will serve as the basis for
future, required training programs.
Develop a training video and brochure series that will highlight the
requirements for being an oyster harvester and oyster dock owner.
Objective #5: Enhance product differentiation and increase consumer
Objective #5
Complete industry-wide origin certification – the Louisiana Certified
Seafood program, a program that creates one, single, unified brand the
promotes Louisiana seafood and will increase consumer confidence on
the origin of their seafood.
Objective #5
Strategies (cont.)
Generate sustainability certified oyster product by creating a thirdparty, independent seafood sustainability certification program.
Implement traceability program through Gulf Seafood Trace, for
seafood processors in the Gulf States, which, will allow our seafood to
be traced from boat to plate in an electronic database.
Develop, an oyster traceability pilot study to determine how the latest
technology (i.e. RFID tags and temperature monitoring devices) can be
used to monitor FDA’s time/temperature requirements and assist the
oyster seafood industry with electronic record keeping.
Objective #5
Action Plan
Assist Audubon Nature Institute in the development of a nationally
recognized, seafood sustainability certification program for Gulf Coast
Promote the Louisiana Seafood Certification Program to the seafood
community, restaurants, and retailers to increase participation and
prominence of this brand. Participants will be featured at
Review results of the Oyster Pilot Traceability program to gauge
effectiveness of technology at monitoring time/temperature
requirements as specified by the ISSC and FDA. Make
recommendations accordingly.
Objective #5
Action Plan (cont.)
Develop a Gulf Coast Seafood Watch website (modeled after the NOAA
FishWatch site) that provides information about Gulf seafood at the
state-level on a species by species basis. With easy to understand facts
about Gulf seafood at their fingertips, consumers and buyers alike can
access credible, science-based information resources to make wellinformed decisions about the sustainability of Gulf seafood.

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