Public hearings on how to divide red snapper between the commercial fishing industry and recreational anglers are underway along the Gulf Coast. Commercial interests intent on keeping 51 percent of the fishery in their own hands are trying to diminish recreational anglers’ input. This is not unusual, but it’s not good either.
Commercial fishermen are financially motivated to appear at every possible Council function to make their case over and over and over. For the rest of us, life gets in the way, and the demands of jobs and family can make it virtually impossible to carve out the hours to participate in yet another red snapper hearing. Beyond that, anglers have been asked countless times to comment on federal fisheries matters and it seems NOTHING ever changes. It’s like being served a bad meal 20 times at the same restaurant, and then being chastised by the owner for not giving them another chance when you finally move on.
Apathy by anglers is certainly understandable when it comes to federal fisheries, but we have an opportunity here that may not come around again. The current allocation is more than two decades old and it is based on 30-year-old data. It seems incredible, but this Council could easily decide to let an allocation set using data from 1979 stand for another 30 years if anglers fail to make their voices heard now.
Please take a few minutes today to send a message to your Council members below and make your opinion known. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has selected Alternative 5 as its preferred alternative for reallocation. Alternative 5 will maintain the commercial and recreational red snapper allocations, but when the quota is greater than 9.12 million pounds, 75% of the amount in excess will go to the recreational sector and 25% to the commercial sector. That is a good thing.
CCA is supporting Alternative 5. It is an exceptionally reasonable path to reallocation, perhaps even too reasonable, but it is the most viable allocation option on the table and it is still hanging by a thread. Send your state’s Council members a thoughtful request to set right this outdated allocation and approve Alternative 5.More information on the issue can be found on the CCA website, but the important thing is to let your Council members know, in your own words, that you would like to see the red snapper allocation updated.
Click the link below to log in and send your message: