Louisiana is the largest seafood producer in the lower 48 states. The majority of seafood harvested from the Gulf of Mexico is landed in Louisiana ports.
Fish make up the largest segment of landings, including snappers, groupers, mackerels, tuna, dolphin fish (mahi mahi), mullet, menhaden, and other species.
The blue crab fishery is an important contributor to the economy, with much of the landings coming from Lake Pontchartrain basin and Terrebonne basin.
The Gulf shrimp fishery is also important for the state. Three species of shrimp are harvested; brown shrimp (Penaeus aztecus), pink shrimp (Penaeus duorarum), and white shrimp (Penaeus setiferus), usually by bottom trawling.
Although Louisiana’s oyster landings are small in comparison to other shellfish, oysters play an important role in local culture.
In freshwater habitats, fishermen harvest crawfish and finfish. Louisiana also allows fishermen to harvest wild alligators from state waters.
The commercial fishing industry in Louisiana is among the most resilient in the world. Despite devastating losses from Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, commercial fishermen continue working.