Offshore Fishing in Fourchon / Grand Isle in Southeast Louisiana
State Waters Changing
ne 07, 2012
Following the guidelines of Act 336 of the 2011 State Legislature, and at the urging of Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham, the Loouisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission voted Thursday to set the state’s fishing boundaries into the Gulf of Mexico out to three marine leagues.
In effect, the LWFC’s unanimous vote pushes state regulations out from the current three-mile limit to 10.357 miles into Gulf waters.
Barham said research for Act 336 uncovered a little-known provision that could allow the state to push its state waters “...to include offshore islands and out to three leagues.”
In asking the commission to approve the move, Barham said, “We are following the expressed will of the people through the (state) Legislature an the governor, that this is the collective will of the people.”
Barham further reminded the commission that its approval extended to fisheries-related matters only.
Act 336 contained this proviso: “Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the jurisdiction of the state of Louisiana or any political subdivision thereof shall not extend to the boundaries recognized herein until the U.S. Congress acknowledges the boundary described herein by an Act of Congress or any litigation resulting from the passage of the Act which originated as Senate Bill 145 of the 2011 Regular Session of the Legislature of Loouisiana with respect to the legal boundary of the state is resolved and a final non-appealable judgement if rendered.”
Barham further stated that he expects the action to spark the issue in Congress.
“They (Congress) will never take action unless we do something,” Barham said.