Seven Seafood Organizations Support Federal Management of Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico

by / Newsroom Ink on May 3, 2017

by Gulf Seafood News Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As policy discussions ramp up in Washington over the management of the Gulf of Mexico’s iconic American Red Snapper, seven organizations are urging legislators to leave resource decisions in the hands of Federal agencies, not state commissions.

In a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Interior, Energy and the Environment, the organizations advocated for improved fisheries data to give Federal managers more accurate information on which to make seasonal decisions.

“Federal management of the commercial and charter Gulf red snapper fisheries is working very well,” the letter says. “By adhering to the process outlined under the Magnuson Stevens Fishery Management Act (MSA), fishery managers in the Gulf have increased the Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for all snapper fishermen from seven million pounds to the current TAC of fourteen million pounds, a success that can be enjoyed by consumers nationwide.”

The organizations signing on to the letter included:

  • Gulf Seafood Institute (Metairie, LA)
  • National Restaurant Association (Washington, D.C.)
  • National Fisheries Institute (Mclean, VA)
  • Southeastern Fisheries Association (Tallahassee, FL)
  • Charter Fishermen’s Association (Corpus Christie, TX)
  • Alabama Charter Fishermen’s Association (Orange Beach, AL)
  • Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance (Galveston, TX)

Turning management of Red Snapper over to the states would remove federal oversight of any kind, which is counter to how the Gulf’s healthy fisheries are being achieved, the letter states.

“The letter scratches the surface of the underlying problem — the state’s noncompliance of Federal fishing limits,” said David Krebs, director of Gulf Seafood Institute’s Red Snapper committee. “That affects the fish available to  federal offshore fisheries and the remaining user groups.”

According to NOAA, private recreational fishermen caught about 1.9 million pounds of red snapper more than their Annual Catch Target (ACT), blowing through a 20% buffer and causing a 2% overage in the total recreational Allowable Catch Limit (ACL).”

Among the factors of the overage, NOAA attributed “underestimates of the impact of the state boundary extension, two states having longer seasons than anticipated, and one state managing toward ACL instead of ACT.”

The joint letter from the seven groups can be viewed here.

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About the Author

About the Author: Ed Lallo is the former editor of Gulf Seafood News and CEO of Newsroom Ink, an online brand journalism agency. .


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