Better Snapper Management
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,