BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - 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 the 2016 commercial harvest.
Earlier this year, the National Marine Fisheries Service began to look into changing harvesting rules in order to establish this increase.
The action taken Dec. 3 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 the Fisheries Service 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 federal regulators.
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@example.com prior to March 3, 2016.