[StBernard] Fishermen Cutting Into Booms Set To Protect Shores

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Tue May 25 23:17:20 EDT 2010

Fishermen Cutting Into Booms Set To Protect Shores
Crews Block Areas To Prevent Spread Of Oil Spill
updated 7:47 p.m. CT, Tues., May 25, 2010

As the

Gulf of Mexico oil spill

cuts off more fishing areas, some fishermen are cutting in to access their
favorite fishing spots.

In Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Bourge, near the Rigolets, where booming
efforts continue, the folks who use the area the most are now the ones who
are hampering some of the efforts.

Todd Duke with Resolve Marine Group has been setting up booms around St.
Bernard, St. Tammany and Orleans parishes for nearly a month. Nearly 25
miles of boom has been put out to protect Lake Pontchartrain and the
surrounding marshes, but now some of that boom is being cut.

"When we go in and replace cut pollution boom, that's 100 feet or 65 feet
that we can't use somewhere else to protect grasslands or inlands," Duke

Jim Swatman of BP said the cut boom was protecting the fragile wetlands
south of grand pass.

"We've had some fishermen that have their favorite fishing holes out there,
and unfortunately, we've had to boom across them, and equally unfortunate,
some of them have cut the boom and (are) doing their fishing," Swatman said.

While all the boom has been replaced, Swatman said this is an ongoing

"It happens pretty much every day. Over the weekend, we had a little more
because there was more people out there, but we are finding places every day
with the boom cut," Swatman said.

Duke said they are doing their best to just deploy boom on the banks and not
close the fishing grounds, but he said fishermen need to do their part and
be more prudent mariners.

"If the boom is destroyed and the oil gets in, that fishing spot is not
going to be there," Duke said.

If caught, the fishermen will be cited and charges could range from
destruction of property to federal charges.

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