Commercial fishing for large coastal sharks opens Jan. 1

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Commercial fishing for non-sandbar large coastal sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. Jan. 1. Federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.

The non-sandbar large coastal shark group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.

State regulators said in a news release Thursday that the commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will close from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2016 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2016 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.

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.