Louisiana Gives Artificial Reef Fund Constitutional Protection
As anyone looking to build a fish attractor will know, these fish habitat structures are designed to draw schools of sportfish by providing cover in open water and access to forage species like insects and crustaceans these fish depend on for food. As a result, fish attractors are extremely valuable to fishermen due to their ability to concentrate local species. Fish attractors can be placed in both freshwater and saltwater environments, and are typically used in private waters. However, due to their ability to recreate needed natural habitats, these artificial structures are increasingly being used by state and federal organizations looking to promote the fishing environment and help local species thrive.
Louisiana is one state that has been using artificial fish habitats to strengthen their fish populations and draw sportsmen to the area: since 1986, Louisiana has been running a program that allows oil companies to sink their decommissioned oil rigs in designated areas to be used as artificial reefs. The companies then donate half of the money they would have spent towing these structures to shore to a special fund that maintains these artificial fish habitats and creates additional fish habitats out of limestone, crushed concrete and other substance inshore.
In the wake of the BP oil spill and the harm it caused to a number of species in the Gulf area, it feels strange to learn that oil companies and oil rigs might actually be helping the Louisiana fishing industry in this way. However, according to the Times-Picayune of Greater New Orleans, fish might have more to fear from legislators than oil executives: in 2009, lawmakers allocated $46 million from the artificial fish structure fund to fill other budgetary shortfalls. Because of this, voters passed a law known as Amendment 8 in the November 2014 election, which gives the artificial reef fund constitutional protection to prevent similar raids on the money collected. If you’re looking to build a fish attractor, take a leaf out of Louisiana’s book and invest in an artificial fish habitat! Read this website for more information.