Today’s announcement of only a nine-day federal red snapper season starting June 1 underscores the need to transfer authority in determining season length to Gulf coast states, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) said in a news release.
“Today’s reckless announcement of a nine-day red snapper season severely hurts our fishermen and the Gulf economy. After Louisiana’s successful efforts to collect data and manage our red snapper fisheries, it’s maddening to have a federal agency tell our local fishermen that they will be unfairly subjected to the shortest red snapper season in history,” Landrieu said. “Given the rising stocks of red snapper, a nine-day season is unthinkable and it’s a stark reminder that the old system governing recreational fishing for red snapper is unquestionably broken.”
In the same release, Coastal Conservation Association Louisiana executive director David Cresson said federal management of red snapper had hit a dead end.
“As I told many senators today, the federal management of Gulf red snapper is in complete chaos,” Cresson said. “This year, we are facing a drastically short nine-day red snapper season for the public to go fishing for this abundant and popular fish. This is unacceptable for recreational anglers and the coastal economies that depend on them.
“I’d like to thank Senator Landrieu for introducing the Red Snapper Conservation Act which would provide great relief to the red snapper anglers and continuing to advocate on behalf of Louisiana sportsmen. We must provide alternative management tools for the Gulf Council and make sure the data used to set these seasons reflects the abundance of red snapper.”
Landrieu and Cresson met with U.S. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard to urge Senate action on her bill, which was introduced last year.
The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013 addresses the erratic rules-making process currently in use, the release states.