July 14, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced commercial fishing for large coastal sharks will close in Louisiana waters on July 17, 2011, at 11:30 p.m.
This closure was made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham under the authority given by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, which allows the secretary to declare a closed season. The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico at the same time.
At this time, no date has been set for the reopening of the commercial large coastal shark fishery in Louisiana waters.
During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, sale or attempt to purchase, exchange, barter, trade, or sell large coastal sharks or their fins is prohibited.
The large coastal shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, sandbar, silky, spinner and tiger sharks.
Vessels that have been issued or 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.
Louisiana harvesters land approximately 68 percentage of the annual quota for large coastal shark species according to recent statistics.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter@LDWF.