Stand Up for Gulf Red Snapper Fishing
The red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico is an important commercial and recreational fishery that has been plagued by controversy.
Even though the Gulf red snapper population is healthier than it has been in decades, because of failures to use up-to-date data, federal fisheries managers keep reducing recreational fishing seasons. In 2016, the recreational season was just nine days.
The five Gulf states (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida) have agreed on a path forward for state-based management of Gulf red snapper. Under the plan, each state would be responsible for developing and implementing a red snapper management plan for its waters, which would be approved by the rest of the states. The announcement was greeted with strong support from the recreational fishing community. State management was piloted in 2018-2019 seasons and has been approved by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council for the long-term, subject to final approval by the Secretary of Commerce.