Survey to help identify losses to LA fishing industry

By Lee Peck - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana's fishing industry was hit hard by the storms of 2005 and 2008, but just how hard? To find out, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is surveying commercial fishermen and seafood retailers. For the past two days, officials were in Southwest Louisiana. Tuesday they were in Hackberry and Wednesday they were in downtown Lake Charles.

The comprehensive survey covers Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. Once complete, officials will compile the information collected into a database to see how they can best help the fishing industry should they get hit by another storm.

"So we can identify what are the characteristics of fishermen and wholesale seafood dealers who were quick to come back from a lot of damage and what are the characteristics of fisherman dealers who were not quick to come back from the storms so we can know how when the next storm happens and how to best help people," said Lee Buckner, economist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries. "A lot of the money that we've gotten to help the fishing industry community for recovery from the hurricanes comes from the federal government and we'll know how to better spend that money when it comes in based on the information that we get from this survey."

Those surveyed are compensated anywhere from $200 to $43,000. Applicants who have been approved to participate have until September 30th to complete the survey.

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