Regional Management – Encouraging Sign for Red Snapper Fishery in Gulf?

[Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council] passage of regional management in any form is an encouraging sign that the states have decided to flex their muscles within the Council process and that is a very welcome development for all Gulf fisheries management, not just red snapper.

The above quotation appears in a 23 April blog entry published on the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana‘s (CCA-Louisiana) website. The entry, titled “An Awakening in the Gulf,” makes a case for needing a new path forward when it comes to managing the increasingly contentious red snapper (Lutjanus campechanus) fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

Currently, federal fisheries managers and state fisheries managers are on opposite sides of debate about how to manage the red snapper fishery. While the fishery was overfished in the past, it now is showing strong signs of recovery. The question remains, however, at what point are we in the recovery, and what amount of fishing pressure can the stock currently withstand? Federal fisheries managers have proposed cutting way back on the 2013 red snapper season because of stock assessment, while state fisheries managers argue the proposed federal regulations would unnecessarily harm Gulf anglers and the business that rely on those anglers.

For its part, CCA-Louisiana concludes, “The one thing that no one–anglers, the states, the feds–can afford is the status quo.

CCA-Louisiana, which was founded in 1984, is a state chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA). CCA-Louisiana was the third state chapter of the CCA (previously Gulf Coast Conservation Association) and, as their mission states, has the objective of conserving, promoting and enhancing the present and future availability of the State’s coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.

About Ret Talbot

Ret Talbot is a freelance writer who covers fisheries at the intersection of science and sustainability. His work has appeared in publications such as National Geographic, Mongabay, Discover Magazine, Ocean Geographic and Coral Magazine. He lives on the coast of Maine with his wife, scientific illustrator Karen Talbot.
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