Accelerates coastal erosion: Pogie boats can churn up the seabed, disturbing spawning grounds and compromising the integrity of our beaches and barrier islands. In recent years, both the state and the federal government have spent billions of dollars rebuilding our coast to combat coastal erosion with many more projects conducted year after year. Large pogie boats, drafting 13 feet of water throughout our shallow surf zone can damage beaches, making them more vulnerable to erosion from catastrophic hurricanes.
Tens of millions of pounds of bycatch in Louisiana: The way pogie is fished, and its occurrence within some of the most fertile waters for a variety of fish, there is a significant bycatch resulting in harm to many of Louisiana’s favorite recreational fish – approximately 135,000 pounds of trout and redfish specifically each year – and harm to forage for many of our most iconic Louisiana birds and wildlife like Brown Pelicans. According to the industry, bycatch by percentage is relatively low in comparison to other commercial fisheries, representing 2-3% of the total catch. But even at 2-3%, you are still talking about 20-30 million pounds of bycatch—our drum, redfish, speckled trout, crabs, shrimp, and more killed each year.