A Terrebonne shrimp story

Part 10: Right to fish


There is a distinct difference in the perception of the rights of the citizens to participate in the harvest of marine fisheries that differentiates the management philosophy of Louisiana and the National Marine Fisheries Service (and some other states).

Louisiana's Public Trust Doctrine provides that public trust lands, waters and living resources in the State are held by the state in trust for the benefit of all the people, and establishes the right of the public to fully enjoy public trust lands, waters and the living resources for a wide variety of recognizable public uses.

The public trust doctrine of the common law states and the United States is based on the Institutes of Justinian. It eventually became part of the English common law, and was transferred to the common law states via English Law, whereas it came to Louisiana through the French and Spanish civil law traditions which were themselves based on Roman Law. Indeed Louisiana received a ''double dose'' of the public trust because in 1812 it was under the equal footing doctrine. The English version of the public trust doctrine was superimposed over Louisiana's civil law.
The fiberglass skimmer net skiff Part 9