Governors Go to Bat for Longer Red Snapper Season
CCA applauds efforts on behalf of recreational anglers
Red snapper season in the Gulf is just around the corner, and if Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Gulf state governors have their way, it will be a bit longer than anyone expected. In the wake of the Deepwater Horizon spill last summer, the recreational angling sector fell short of catching its quota of red snapper by almost one-third. Gov. Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have all presented letters to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council urging that more than one million pounds of red snapper uncaught in 2010 be added to the 2011 season.
"We are writing to urge the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to recommend adding the 2010 uncaught recreational quota for red snapper to the 2011 quota to increase the projected length of the season," Gov. Scott writes. "Given the present economic condition of Florida, we believe the addition of this quota, and the extension of the season, would provide a much needed economic boost to this region that is still recovering from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill."
“I acknowledge the red snapper population is currently being rebuilt and understand the strict calculations used in setting commercial and recreational quotas,” Gov. Perry writes. “As such, I ask that you consider the region’s economic recovery and health of the fishery in considering my request. By building on the leftover 2010 quota, I believe we are satisfying both requirements, and I look forward to your swift and favorable action.”
Red snapper are an exceptionally popular sportfish, and have been the subject of federal management for more than two decades. After years of frustration, setbacks and sacrifice for recreational anglers, the population of red snapper is on a steady path to recovery, although strict rebuilding guidelines are still in effect to reach rebuilding goals set by fisheries managers. The red snapper season in 2010 was the shortest on record at just 53 days, even though anglers almost universally report a booming red snapper fishery in the Gulf.
“We are truly grateful to Gov. Perry and his staff for standing up for recreational anglers on this issue,” said CCA Texas Executive Director Robby Byers. “He is exactly on target – we need to be mindful of the health of the fishery, but with the underage from last year and the robust recovery our members are witnessing in the Gulf, it would be a tremendous boost to the region to create more opportunities for angling offshore. Gov. Perry continues to be an excellent friend to Texas’ anglers.”
CCA is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the nation. With almost 100,000 members in 17 state chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. For more information visit the CCA Newsroom at www.JoinCCA.org.
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