Alabama senator proposes significant fixes for Gulf red snapper mess


WASHINGTON, DC (12-16-15) – Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) made clear in June that he intended to level the playing field for recreational anglers in the Gulf of Mexico by inserting several provisions dealing specifically with red snapper into the  Fiscal Year 2016 appropriations bill. With introduction of the Congressional Omnibus Appropriations bill today, Sen. Shelby strengthened his commitment to fight for anglers with specific language on state boundaries as well as red snapper allocation and stock assessments.

“Senator Shelby's leadership and commitment to tackling the challenges facing the red snapper fishery has paid off,” said Mitch Brownlee, chairman of Coastal Conservation Association. “ The provisions authored by Sen. Shelby included in the omnibus, specifically ensuring that the red snapper stocks are properly counted, that there is more local involvement in the process, and moving the state boundary lines from three to nine miles, are huge wins for fishermen across the Gulf. CCA is very grateful for Sen. Shelby's continued efforts, and we are optimistic that these changes will lead to what we all hope for – a longer fishing season."

“This year’s unacceptably short red snapper season underscores the need for serious reforms to the challenges facing all fishermen on the Gulf,” said Sen. Shelby.  “The omnibus includes important language that I authored to directly address the federal government’s misguided practices regarding the red snapper fishery.  These provisions represent a big step forward for fishermen, and I will continue to fight for provisions to help anyone who wants to fish for red snapper in the Gulf.” 

Specifically, the appropriations bill includes language that:

“It is impossible to get the red snapper fishery back on a course that makes sense for the angling public under the current broken federal management system,” said Pat Murray, president of CCA. “We are extremely fortunate to have Sen. Shelby not only recognize the systemic problems, but map out specific steps to begin fixing this frustrating situation.”