January 26, 2012 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2012 commercial season for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters on February 15.
In the spring, the commercial and recreational seasons for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana waters will close from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2012 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2012, due to an existing fixed closure to protect shark pupping.
During the open season, 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.
The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark 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 permit.
Commercial fishing for Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks remains open in Louisiana waters currently and will remain open until the federal quota is met. The Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth. Last year the commercial fishing season for Non-Blacknose Small Coastal Sharks remained open for all of 2011, as the quota was not met.
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species. Shark species falling in the category 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.