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      RS 56:638.2     


§638.2.  Findings

The state of Louisiana recognizes that:

(1)  Its fish resources are of great value and are renewable. These fish resources make many contributions to the state,  including but not limited to the food supply, economy, and health of the state and recreational opportunities.  With proper regulations of the harvest by fishermen, coupled with protection and enhancement of their freshwater, saltwater, and estuarine habitat, Louisiana's fish resources should be available to provide these benefits to the state indefinitely.

(2)  As a consequence of increased fishing pressure or other factors and because of the limitations of fish conservation, management, and sustainability practices, certain stocks of fish may have been or will become overfished.

(3)  The future productivity of renewable fish resources and their supporting habitats may be seriously jeopardized as a consequence of the continued loss of Louisiana coastal wetlands, or because of human actions affecting the functionality and value of the state's renewable fish resources and their supporting habitats.

(4)  Both commercial and recreational fishing constitute a major source of employment and contribute significantly to the economy of the state.  Many coastal areas are dependent upon such fishing and related activities and their economies have been damaged by pollution, habitat degradation, or overfishing.

(5)  Fish resources are finite but renewable.  If timely placed under sound management, the fisheries can be conserved and maintained so as to provide optimum and sustainable yields on a continuing basis.

(6)  A strong state program for the wise conservation, management, and sustainability of the fish resources of Louisiana is necessary to maintain plentiful fish populations, to prevent overfishing, to rebuild reduced stocks, to ensure conservation, and to realize their full potential.

(7)  The safe development or improvement of fisheries that are not fully or properly utilized by the Louisiana commercial and recreational fishermen and fishing industries should help to ensure that Louisiana benefits from the employment, food supply, recreation, and social and economic benefit that could be maintained or generated thereby, if pursued in such a fashion that is socially, scientifically, economically, anthropologically, and biologically sound for the state, the species, any related species, and their supporting habitats.

(8)  A strong state program is necessary to advocate the importance of the functionality and value of Louisiana's waters and coastal wetlands as estuary and habitat for fish resources, the social and economic value of these resources to the state and the nation, and the need to actively seek to avoid any net loss of this functionality and value.

Acts 1991, No. 708, §1; Acts 2014, No. 553, §1.

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