Sportsmen's groups back state snapper solution

Posted on July 10, 2014


7 Sportsmen’s Groups Back Landrieu Amendment That Gives Red Snapper Management to States


Ask lead sponsors of sportmen’s legislation Senate is considering to add Landrieu’s amendment

WASHINGTON—Seven of the most prominent national organizations representing America’s anglers wrote to the lead sponsors of the sportsmen’s bill the Senate is currently debating and asked that U.S. Senators Mary L. Landrieu’s, D-La., bipartisan Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act be added to the package. Earlier this week, Sen. Landrieu took the procedural steps necessary to make this possible. Read the letter from the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation (CCA), the Center for Coastal Conservation, the International Game Fish Association, the Ocean Foundation, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Billlfish Foundation.

Sen. Landrieu’s legislation would transfer the authority for managing red snapper and setting the season length from the federal government to Gulf Coast states and was developed in close coordination with the five Gulf Coast state chapters of the Coastal Conservation Association, including David Cresson, Executive Director, CCA Louisiana. This year’s season was only 9 days, down from 42 days last year. A vote to add Sen. Landrieu’s bill to the larger sportsmen’s legislation could come this week. 

“We are writing to respectfully urge adoption of a Red Snapper amendment to your Sportsmen’s Act pending on the Senate floor. It is vital that a Red Snapper amendment be enacted in the 113th Congress to ensure the long-term conservation of Gulf of Mexico red snapper while concurrently improving the economies of Gulf States,” the organizations wrote. “State management would result in improved management of Gulf red snapper for the betterment of the fishery and the entire regional economy in which recreational fishing contributes more than $10 billion in annual economic activity to the five Gulf States.”

“Our coalition to fix the unquestionably broken old system governing recreational fishing for red snapper continues to grow stronger and deeper. I appreciate the support from these sportsmen groups for the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act and urge senators from both parties to support adding this common sense bill to the sportsman’s package,” Sen. Landrieu said. “Predictable, reliable red snapper seasons aren’t just important to the men and women that make their living fishing, they’re essential to the time-honored traditions of friends and families along the Gulf Coast who have memories of fishing with their parents and want to pass that along to their children.”

This follows Sen. Landrieu’s successful efforts last month to secure funding and essential reforms to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal agency that regulates Gulf fisheries, that will prevent another needlessly short season based on faulty and inaccurate fish counts.

The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013 (S.1161) addresses an erratic rule-making process that was rejected by a Federal court in Texas last year for impermissibly discriminating against citizens of different states. The bill is also consistent with the efforts of the Gulf Coast Governors to promote responsible regional management.

In May, Sen. Landrieu and David Cresson, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, met with U.S. Senator Mark Begich, D-AK, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, to urge Senate action on the Red Snapper Conservation Act.

Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued three separate red snapper seasons for Gulf Coast States, wreaking havoc on the recreational fishing industry that cost billions to the regional economy.  

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