Know More About Plaquemines Parish

Feb 27 07:50 2013 Cedric Loiselle Print This Article

In Louisiana,Guest Posting a parish is an administrative division equivalent to a county in other states. Plaquemines derived its name from the word “piakimin” from the Amerindian vocabulary which refers to the fruit of the plaquemine tree known as “kaki”. It was Sieur de Bienville often referred to as the “Father of Louisiana” who was attributed for the naming of first fort they built in Louisiana which was surrounded by innumerable plaquemine trees. The name was later on retained for the entire parish. Plaquemines is located at the southeast edge of the Greater New Orleans region with the official parish seat as Pointe a la Hache. However, due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, much of the government has been in Belle Chasse. 


Plaquemines Parish is one of the richest parishes in Louisiana owing to the discovery of sulphur, natural gas and oil in its territory. The Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico combined with the frequent hurricanes passing the region all make it easy for the parish to go under water. To prevent flooding, levies were built. But the same levies gave up when the region was hit by the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which devastated half of the parish’s shrimping and shellfish fleet and the citrus industry.


Before Hurricane Katrina, Plaquemines Parish has a thriving seafood industry, supplying the world with millions of tons of shrimps, crabs, oysters and other seafood produce. Majority of the parish people are engaged by the seafood industry or the oil industry as these are the two industries that drive the economy of Plaquemines. The seafood business contributes heavily to the state’s seafood industry. During the shrimping season, trawlers will be seen heading out to the bayous for their commercial catch and for the dining table. The shrimping season runs from May until August, with May being the “brownie season” and August as the “white season”. An average shrimp catch of one netting amounts to about 200 lbs or more. Once the nets are brought in, and untied to release the catch, the “picking” process starts. This process entails keeping all seafood and getting rid of everything else not seafood. Thrown back to the waters are the eels, baby sharks, manta rays, turtles, squid, and bat rays. 


All picked seafood will then be iced down and stored in the boat’s hull where a “hole” is actually a room filled with ice. The hole has a passageway for the shrimps’ entering and exiting. Usually, trawling boats will only stop casting the nets when there’s not enough ice, or space in the hole, or when the boat is running short on fuel. Trawling on the waters of Plaquemines includes knowing the waters, the weather and the fishing techniques and locations where shrimps are aplenty. When the shrimping season is over, the trawlers then head to the Gulf of Mexico to try their luck. The Gulf’s water is not as easily recognizable and is definitely not as convenient. It usually takes 5 days for a trawling boat to return from the Gulf under good weather conditions.


Plaquemines is blessed with a temperate climate all year round. There are a host of recreational activities which are available to parishioners such as boating, fishing, and hunting. Plaquemines is known for its world-class fishing. It also hosts the annual Plaquemines Orange Festival and the Plaquemines Seafood festival. On top of these festivities, Plaquemines has several historic sites and monuments which together with the culture of the people were preserved well.  

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Cedric Loiselle
Cedric Loiselle

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