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Commercial Fisher Input Sought on Harbors of Refuge

Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) is asking commercial fishermen to take a 10-minute online survey about how they seek refuge from hurricanes and tropical storms. The survey can be found at

“We want to know where commercial fishermen get their information about approaching storms; have they considered finding a harbor of refuge or tie-up location when a storm is approaching; and if they have access to a safe place to tie-up until a storm passes,” said Niki Pace, lead principal investigator on the project and sustainability coordinator for the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program.

Commercial fishermen age 18 or older can participate in the survey, which is part of a larger Sea Grant project on harbors of refuge.

“Every vessel lost has a direct economic impact on the owner, the navigability of our waterways and those ultimately charged with removing the vessel,” Pace added. “While extensive research has been conducted on terrestrial evacuation needs and routes, little has been focused on aquatic evacuation needs.”

The overall goal of the project is to develop the beginnings of a framework that policy makers and elected officials can use for establishing harbors of refuge in Louisiana and possibly across the Gulf of Mexico. Researchers on the project include Matt Bethel, LSG associate executive director; Pace; and Jennifer Scott, assistant professor in the College of Human Sciences and Education at Louisiana State University.