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The Honorable Rob Bishop, Chairman
Committee on Natural Resources

The Honorable Raul Grijalva, Ranking Member
Committee on Natural Resources

Members
Committee on Natural Resources
1324 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Bishop, Ranking Member Grijalva and Members of the Committee on Natural Resources:

We, the undersigned organizations, represent the vast saltwater recreational angling community that generates more than $70 billion in economic activity and supports over 450,000 jobs across the nation. We write to urge your support of Representative Garret Graves’ H.R. 3094, the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority Act, during Committee markup Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

There is unanimous consent that the Gulf red snapper fishery is thriving; fishing success rates are significantly higher, and the fish are significantly larger. However, NOAA continues to limit the days anglers can fish for red snapper with disproportionally short seasons. The current system of federal red snapper management is unaccountable to recreational anglers – the primary supporters of fisheries conservation. Rep. Graves’ bill not only identifies this fundamental problem but enables the states to implement the necessary solution.

H.R.3094, which has 40 bipartisan cosponsors, 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. The states have an outstanding track record of successful fisheries management, as evidenced by the numerous economically important and biologically sustainable marine fish stocks that are under state management, including red drum, speckled trout, snook, and many others.

On behalf of the millions of recreational anglers and business that depend on healthy and accessible marine fisheries, we thank you for your leadership and urge you to support a management system that works for everyone.

 

Sincerely,

Mike Nussman, President and CEO
American Sportfishing Association

Jeff Angers, President
Center for Coastal Conservation

Patrick Murray, President
Coastal Conservation Association

Jeff Crane, President
Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation

Guy Harvey, Chairman
Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

Rob Kramer, President
International Game Fish Association

Thom Dammrich, President
National Marine Manufacturers Association

Jim Donofrio, President
Recreational Fishing Alliance

Ellen Peel, President
The Billfish Foundation
Whit Fosburgh
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership