The United States Department of Commerce has finally come to the conclusion that Louisiana's fishing industry was adversely affected by the hurricanes of 2020. You might recall Hurricane Season 2020, which was the year the state was hit by five landfalling tropical cyclones. Three of the storms, Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Delta, and Hurricane Zeta created not only massive damage on shore but adversely affected Louisiana's fishing industry greatly.

The Commerce Department just made it official earlier this week that those storms did enough damage to Louisiana's saltwater, finfish, and shrimping industries that federal support would be necessary. Truly this is a case of better late than never because many Louisiana fishing families have struggled mightily with the storms, the pandemic, and the basic economy of the fishing industry.

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The Commerce Department stopped short of saying exactly how much money Louisiana will be getting to help bolster these industries. However, officials with the LSU AgCenter have already submitted a report, along with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries that outlined just the retail losses Louisiana fishermen were faced with in the weeks after the storms.

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That AgCenter/LWF report suggested that the state's fishing industry suffered about $30 million in retail losses and about $72 million in overall damages. The next steps in the process will require the state of Louisiana to submit a plan for how any monies received will be allocated. That plan will go to federal officials for review, they will then assign a dollar amount to the request.

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It's believed that money from this federal support will not only go to support fishing families and the fishing industry in the state but will also foster programs designed to make the industry more resilient in the face of strong storms and hurricanes in the future.

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