Recreational Angling Community Support for State Management of Gulf Red Snapper
Recreational anglers have been the driving force behind significant conservation victories and marine habitat programs in every coastal state for decades. In countless ways, these anglers have steadfastly supported the advancement of marine science and enhanced the capabilities of wildlife law enforcement agencies. Their sportsmen’s ethic of stewardship and financial support through license dollars and excise taxes are the very foundation that makes the U.S. model of wildlife management unique and envied throughout the world.
As representatives of that community, the following organizations confirm their support of the state-based Gulf red snapper management model that was recently formulated by the
fisheries directors of the Gulf states.
Since 1950, the recreational boating and fishing industry collectively has contributed approximately $1 billion to the five Gulf states for fisheries management, conservation and access through the Sport Fish Restoration Program. We willingly make these contributions because we know that the fate of our industry is dependent on sound fisheries management led by state fish and wildlife agencies. The strong partnership between the recreational boating and fishing industry and the states has allowed for thriving fisheries resources and public enjoyment of those resources all across the country.
Given the increasing body of evidence that federal managers are not equipped to meet the challenges of Gulf red snapper management, we must rely on the Gulf states to take over the reins. Your state fish and wildlife agencies are to be commended for not only agreeing to take on this task, but for developing a thorough plan for how they would cooperatively management the resource.
On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Gulf Coast citizens who willingly and selflessly take on their role as stewards of the marine environment, as well as the businesses that depend on healthy and accessible marine fisheries, we are grateful that the states are again taking a leadership role to find a management system that works for everyone.
While Gulf red snapper management has proven to be immensely challenging, I am confident that management under your states’ plan will maintain a healthy and robust red snapper fishery while better addressing the needs of the 3 million anglers in the Gulf region. Thank you again for your leadership on this very important issue.