“States are simply better equipped to manage the fishery — and more aware of its importance”
Leaders in the recreational fishing community today lauded new bipartisan legislation by U.S. Representatives Garret Graves (R-La.) and Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) that the president of the Center for Coastal Conservation predicted “will better conserve Gulf red snapper and finally give recreational anglers reasonable access to red snapper fishing.”
“For too long, the federal government has relied on outdated and inaccurate information to unfairly limit recreational Gulf red snapper fishing to just a single weekend a year,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center. “Representative Graves’ bill will improve recreational fishing opportunities and safeguard the thousands of Gulf jobs that depend on recreational red snapper fishing.”
Rep. Graves’ bill will extend formal federal recognition to the historic agreement between the chief fish and wildlife officials of all five Gulf States to accept joint responsibility for management of the red snapper fishery in federal waters. Red snapper management is currently under the jurisdiction of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
“The state fisheries agencies and the recreational angling community have a long-standing partnership in successfully managing our fisheries resources for species abundance, while ensuring appropriate public access,” noted Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane.
Crane added that “the states are simply better equipped to manage Gulf red snapper; have a proven record of managing fisheries in their own state waters, and are more aware of a fishery’s importance to recreational anglers and their state’s economy.”
Original co-authors of the Graves measure include: Reps. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Ralph Abraham (R-La.), Brian Babin (R-Texas); Dan Benishek (R-Mich.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Paul Cook (R-Calif.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Bob Latta (R-Ohio), Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Pete Olsen (R-Texas), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), Austin Scott (R-Ga.), Cedric Richmond (D-La.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.).
The Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act will likely be referred to the House of Representatives’ Natural Resources Committee.