Letter to Congressional leadership calls for state-based   management of troubled species


HOUSTON   (4-17-13) – The governors of four Gulf states released a JOINT LETTER to the leadership of the U.S. House and   Senate today that states current federal management of Gulf red snapper is   evidence of a system that is “irretrievably broken,” and calls for passage of   legislation that would replace it with a coordinated Gulf states partnership   for red snapper management.

“The Gulf of Mexico red   snapper fishery has a historic and significant economic benefit to the Gulf   coastal states and the nation.  However, federal management conflicts   impacting both the commercial and recreational sectors have created a   situation that is negatively impacting the coastal economies and citizens of   our states,” states the letter signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov.   Rick Perry of Texas, Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Phil Bryant of   Mississippi. “With a stock that is recovering steadily, our recreational   anglers are being allowed to fish less and less, and there is no hint of   willingness from NOAA Fisheries to deviate from this present, unsatisfactory   course. As governors of Gulf states, we believe this confusing management is   just the latest evidence of a federal management system that is irretrievably   broken.”

The governors’ letter calls   on Congress to establish a better fishery management approach for Gulf red   snapper based on interstate management measures   coordinated by the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, citing their   belief that a coordinated   Gulf states partnership would be more capable of delivering a robust fishery   that is more accessible for their citizens.

“By encouraging Congress to   allow the states to effectively manage red snapper and pass legislation to   give the Gulf coastal States management authority for this resource, the   governors clearly share our desire for a new vision in fisheries management,”   said Venable Proctor, chairman of CCA National. “The federal system has had   decades to get this fishery on track, and yet it still insists on a path that   leads inevitably to a dead-end. We are grateful to the governors for   promoting a viable alternative for fisheries management, and we look forward   to working with Congress to see that this sensible management model becomes   law.”

Federal   management of red snapper reached a new low in 2013 when the Gulf of Mexico   Fishery Management Council announced a 27-day season, even though the snapper   population appears to be booming. In response, Louisiana, Florida and   Mississippi have announced various actions to join Texas’ long-standing   rejection of federal regulations in state waters, prompting federal   authorities to prepare punitive measures for those states. According to   current projections, Texas recreational anglers would have a 12-day snapper   season in federal waters, Louisiana anglers would have nine days and Florida   anglers 21 days.
  Click HERE to see Louisiana Governor Bobby   Jindal's statement.


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