In recent years, anglers in the Gulf of Mexico have had less opportunity to catch red snapper.
Privatization has limited this public resource. Now, the Gulf Coast states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have agreed to a state-based management of Gulf red snapper.
Recreational anglers and boaters are pleased with the agreement.
“Throughout the country, states have proven to be highly successful at fish and wildlife management in a way that conserves natural resources while allowing for reasonable public access,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Coastal Conservation. “The Gulf states are among the nation’s leaders in marine fisheries management, which is why we have continued to look to them as the vehicle for managing Gulf red snapper going forward to get us out of the current mess created by federal mismanagement.”
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, under the National Marine Fisheries Service, currently manages the fishery. The plan calls for the Gulf states to coordinate management of Gulf red snapper through the proposed Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority.
Each state in the Authority would manage red snapper out to 200 miles off its coastline. In addition, each state would develop management plans for approval by the other states.
“Gulf red snapper is incredibly important to the economy of coastal communities throughout the Gulf of Mexico region, and attracts anglers from all across the country,” said Mike Nussman, president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. “It’s abundantly clear that the states are best equipped to manage this valuable fishery. It’s time we give them that opportunity.”