Federal waters close for commercial shark fishing

sharkyCommercial fishing for large coastal sharks closed in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on July 6 at 11:30 p.m. The decision was made by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The reopening date in federal waters has not been set; therefore, the reopening date has yet to be determined for state waters.

During the closed season, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, exchange, barter, trade, 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 shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark, silky shark, spinner shark and tiger shark.

There is no allowable harvest at any time for all prohibited species, which 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.