As an avid Mississippi Gulf Coast recreational angler, I'm dismayed that we've allowed red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico to become so convoluted and polarized. Amendment 40, also known as "sector separation," currently before the Gulf Council seeks to drive a wedge between the charter/for-hire and private recreational angler as a solution to the inept federal management of red snapper. Mississippi is the perfect example of where, as the fish get bigger and the quota is reached more quickly, we have fewer days to fish. With virtually no red snapper reefs within Mississippi state waters, our recreational anglers are slowly being squeezed out of the fishery with ridiculously short federal seasons. However, the best solution the Gulf Council can come up with for recreational anglers is to squeeze even more anglers out of the fishery with sector separation? I think not - we can do better than that.
People often ask why recreational anglers have such an adversarial relationship with the federal fisheries management system, and the answer is as simple as it is obvious. The National Marine Fisheries Service was created to assist and promote the domestic commercial fishing industry. Period. Only relatively recently did NMFS even begin to acknowledge a recreational component.
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Public Hearings and Scoping Meetings for Proposed Federal Fisheries Management Measures August 2014
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Public Hearings and Scoping Meetings for Proposed Federal Fisheries Management Measures
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public hearings over the next few weeks on a dangerous privatization scheme for Gulf red snapper.
Gulf Council’s own Red Snapper Advisory Panel rejects sector separation
Even as the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council fast-tracks a highly controversial plan to break the recreational red snapper fishery into private boat anglers and charter/for-hire operators, the Council’s own Red Snapper Advisory Panel voted today to reject the concept entirely.
Attend a Public Meeting and speak out against Amendment 40
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public hearings over the next few weeks on a dangerous privatization scheme for Gulf red snapper (see full schedule below). Reef Fish Amendment 40 - Sector Separation proposes to separate charter/for-hire business from the recreational sector and give personalized allotments of red snapper to use as their own.