On December 3, 2015, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Declaration of Emergency to modify the commercial harvest possession limits for non-sandbar, large coastal sharks. The commercial possession limit will increase from 36 to 45 for 2016 commercial harvest.
Earlier in 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service promulgated rules establishing this increase. Today’s action will provide consistency with federal regulations and increased opportunity for Louisiana shark fishermen.
The Declaration of Emergency also allows the Secretary of the Department to modify the possession limit during the 2016 commercial season if he is notified by NMFS that the federal possession limit has been changed in-season.
In a related action, the Commission also took action on a Notice of Intent to permanently modify the commercial non-sandbar large coastal shark possession limits.
The non-sandbar large coastal sharks group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, silky, spinner and tiger sharks. Sandbar sharks are included in the large coastal sharks group; however, harvest and possession is prohibited without a special federal shark research permit issued by NMFS.
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via e-mail to [email protected] prior to March 3, 2016.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.