Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Commercial Boating Regs in Louisiana

Image by Matt Hardy from Pixabay

Interesting in commercial boating in Louisiana? Whether you want to become a licensed commercial fisherman, run a tug company, or captain paddle steamer cruises, there are important protocols and regulations that must be observed.


For ship towing Luling LA or anywhere else up and down the Louisiana portion of the Mississippi River, the ships must meet the guidelines put forth by the Coast Guard for US-flagged uninspected towing vessels. These guidelines are lengthy and specific and include items such as; the required markings for load lines, UTV documentation and numbering, and personnel credentials.

In addition UTV crews must undergo drug and alcohol testing at regular, periodic intervals, in addition to pre-employment. After any serious marine incident or casualty, testing is also required of all crew members directly involved in the incident. Employers of tug and towing crews must maintain these testing records at all times.

Commercial Fishing Boats

Commercial fisherman must have required equipment on board. This includes items such as proof of registration, validation decals, a horn, whistle, or bell, navigation lights, and nighttime visual distress signals. In addition, the gear a commercial fisherman uses must be licensed. This means gill nets, seines, trammel nets, and other similar articles require a Traversing Permit before using.

Of course you must obtain licenses for your particular catch. Mackerel, crab, tuna, or whatever your haul, all must be caught legally. Fines are steep for commercial fishing without the correct license.

Paddle Steamers

There is a lot of legal red tape if you hope to carry paying passengers up and down the Mississippi on anything larger than a 16 foot boat. Paddle steamers have to be registered and licensed and have all the proper gear on board, including a personal flotation device for every passenger. Boating zones and lanes must be observed as well.