The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the closure of the commercial fishery for large coastal sharks in Louisiana waters effective May 4, 2017 at 11:30 p.m. This closure is concurrent with the National Marine Fisheries Service’s closure of commercial fishing for large coastal sharks in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The season is currently closed in state waters, due to the annual seasonal closure of recreational and commercial shark harvest. The season is scheduled to reopen in state and federal waters on January 1, 2018.
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.
LDWF reminds all recreational anglers and commercial harvesters that Louisiana waters are closed for the harvest of all sharks from April through June. The season for the commercial harvest of small coastal sharks in Louisiana waters will resume on July 1, 2017, after the seasonal closure ends.