Effectively immediately, commercial fishing for large coastal sharks is closed in Louisiana waters. The National Marine Fisheries Service also closed commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week. The season will remain closed in state and federal waters until January 1, 2016, when the season is scheduled to reopen.
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
Vessels that have been issued or that possess a federal shark research permit may continue to operate under the conditions of that permit, which includes the presence of designated NOAA Fisheries observers aboard the vessel for the duration of the trip, until the quota for the federal shark research fishery is achieved.
The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters remains open at this time.