The commercial fishing season for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. on February 1, 2017; federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico will also open at this time.

 

The commercial season will remain open in federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico. The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on April 1, 2017, until 12:01 a.m. on July 1, 2017, per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.

 

During the open season, there is a daily bag limit of 45 sharks per commercial licensed angler. The commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and pelagic sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. For state permitted fishermen in state waters, multiple permit holders may fish from one vessel and each be in possession of a daily limit. Only one trip is permitted daily.  Federally permitted fishermen may only have one possession limit on board a federally permitted vessel regardless of whether in state or federal waters during any trip.

 

The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark. While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit.

 

Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks resumed in Louisiana waters on January 1, and will continue through December 31, 2017, or until 80 percent of the federal quota has been met. The Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of the commercial fisheries for blacknose and non-blacknose small coastal sharks.  Blacknose sharks are a member of the Small Coastal Shark group; however they are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota. The Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark and remained open for all of 2016.  

 

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all prohibited species, which include basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.

 

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov

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