Bet­ter Snap­per Man­age­ment

Saltwater Sportsman - - Tod / Casts + Blasts -

The Red Snap­per Act, a bill in­tro­duced with bi­par­ti­san support in both cham­bers of Congress, could strike the right bal­ance be­tween an­gler ac­cess and sus­tain­abil­ity of the Gulf of Mexico recre­ational red snap­per fish­ery, which has been in a down­ward spiral for the past decade.

The act would al­low the five Gulf states to man­age their own fish­ing sea­sons for red snap­per within their 9-mile state ter­ri­tory as well as out to 25 miles or 25 fath­oms, which­ever is far­ther from shore. Fish­ing be­yond 9 miles would have to be man­aged in ac­cor­dance with na­tional stan­dards and a Gulf-wide catch limit. The bill would also give more weight to state harvest data to help pro­vide more timely in­for­ma­tion about catch rates and ef­fort, as well as re­quire the in­clu­sion of non-fed­eral data in de­ter­min­ing the ac­cept­able bi­o­log­i­cal catch of red snap­per.

Com­mer­cial and char­ter fish­ing would both re­main un­der the fed­eral sys­tem, with reg­u­la­tions de­vel­oped by the Gulf of Mexico Fish­ery Man­age­ment Coun­cil.

Orig­i­nal co-spon­sors in­clude Sens. Bill Cas­sidy, R-LA., and John Kennedy, R-LA.; and U.S. Reps. Gar­ret Graves,

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