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Thread: Solution to Red Snapper Management

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Here is another article you might find interesting. Topic: State Management of Red Snapper

    Here is the link: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/loca...er-6192331.php

    Here is the text of the article by: By Hughes Andry, for the Houston Chronicle April 11, 2015 (Andry is SW sales manager for Sportco Marketing in Richmond)

    Setting the season on Gulf snapper

    The red snapper fishery is the healthiest it has been in decades and it could be the largest the population has ever been, thanks in large part to the expansion of habitat created by offshore oil and gas platforms and limitations on shrimp trawling bycatch. But you would never be able to tell under federal management.

    It is difficult to understand why anyone would willingly wade into one of the most difficult fishery management issues in the entire country, much less volunteer for the monumental responsibility of rebooting the whole deal. However, the fisheries directors of all five Gulf states recently offered a plan to assume management of Gulf of Mexico red snapper from the federal government with the belief that they can set it on a more sensible course.


    Why would these state directors take on such a thankless task? The answer is that they know it simply does not have to be so convoluted and difficult.

    The red snapper fishery is the healthiest it has been in decades and it could be the largest the population has ever been, thanks in large part to the expansion of habitat created by offshore oil and gas platforms and limitations on shrimp trawling bycatch. But you would never be able to tell under federal management, which last year limited the recreational season to nine days in federal waters. Such overly restrictive regulations are incongruous with what anglers and many fisheries scientists are seeing on the water, and are negatively impacting the thousands of recreational fishing dependent businesses all along the Gulf coast.

    The causes are myriad and complex but simply put, federal managers are prohibited from managing red snapper the way the states, like Texas, manage marine fisheries like red drum. The states manage by setting seasons and size limits, and then carefully monitoring the stock every year to determine if the regulations need to be changed. As the size of the stock expands, the regulations can be expanded. If the stock shows signs of trouble, the regulations can be tightened. This type of proactive and adaptive management aligns fishing regulations in a given year with the health of the stock.

    The federal system does it backward. Federal managers evaluate the stock every three or four years, set an exact quota in pounds, and in between they put all their focus on counting every fish caught to determine when each sector hits its quota. It is a one-size-fits-all approach that works well for commercial operators and is completely impractical for the diverse recreational sector.

    The states have recognized that a system that produces results like what we are seeing today in Gulf red snapper cannot endure. They have proposed a system that has the same goals as federal management, but the means to reach those ends recognize that one size does not fit all. The states' plan recognizes there are regional populations of snapper that are fished differently according to local tradition and practice, and would have the flexibility to manage them in different ways - an approach currently impossible under federal management.

    The state plan is superior to the current management approach because it provides five independent and ongoing evaluations of the fishery every year, instead of the inadequate approach that treats red snapper as one stock, fished one way. The states' proposal is unquestionably the harder path - it requires a commitment to actively monitoring and evaluating the stock, and basing thoughtful regulations upon that knowledge.

    Decades of mismanagement have painted federal oversight of red snapper into a corner from which it cannot escape. While the current system is seemingly working well for the commercial industry - and the states are not proposing to change how that sector is managed - it is abundantly clear that it is incapable of adequately meeting the needs of the Gulf region's 3 million saltwater recreational anglers.

    The state directors know the challenge they would be taking on - they've been managing wildlife resources responsibly for decades. They know how to provide access to their citizens while managing for conservation of wildlife resources. They have a mutual goal, a shared responsibility and a common home - the Gulf of Mexico. Given the chance, they would set this tortured fishery back on a level playing field for everyone.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  2. #12
    Join Date
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    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Hi Members,
    Here is the response I received from Senator Marco Rubio when I wrote to him supporting State Management of the Red Snapper Fishery:


    From: Senator Marco Rubio [mailtoo_Not_Reply@Rubio.senate.gov]
    Sent: Thursday, July 02, 2015 9:07 AM
    To: candy@valp.net
    Subject: Responding to your message


    Dear Ms. Hansard,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the proposed state management of Gulf of Mexico red snapper. I appreciate hearing from you.

    I understand Florida's fisheries deeply impact the economic well-being of our state, as well as many Floridians whose way of life depends on them. Our fisheries are a national treasure that feed Americans across the country, provide jobs across the food industry chain, and have become a favorite pastime for millions who provide direct and indirect benefits to our local, state and national economies.

    As you may know, on March 12, 2015, the directors of the state fish and wildlife agencies from the Gulf States unanimously agreed on a new framework for cooperative state-based management of Gulf red snapper. The agreed-upon state-based framework creates the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA), a new, independent authority which would take over the management of the red snapper fishery from the federal government. The GSRSMA is comprised of principle fisheries managers from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. It is important to note that this proposal requires Congressional approval. Prior to the state's announcement, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced the "Red Snapper Management Improvement Act" (S. 105). The legislation would grant the Gulf costal states exclusive regional management authority of the red snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico upon their joint agreement on a management plan. S.105 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

    It is my belief that any viable solution must protect both the commercial and recreational fishing industries. This will require bipartisan and bicameral agreement and support from all stakeholders for any legislation to move forward and be signed into law. For this reason, on May 20, 2015, I reintroduced S. 1403, the "Florida Fisheries Improvement Act." This legislation strikes a delicate balance to improve fishery management in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic regions. S. 1403 was reported out of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Transportation, and Science on June 25, 2015.

    As the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, I will continue to advocate for all Florida fisheries and keep your thoughts in mind as legislation comes before the Committee and full Senate.

    It is an honor and a privilege to serve the people of Florida in the United States Senate. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office

    Sincerely,

    Marco Rubio
    United States Senator
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

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