Tag Archives: red-snapper

Snapper silliness still has anglers seeing red

The bumper sticker on the white Ford pickup truck could not have been more clear: “National Marine Fisheries Service: Destroying Fishermen and Their Communities Since 1976!” Poignant. Harsh, even. But tame by today’s standards. The sticker made me think of an issue affecting offshore bottom fishermen who depart inlets between the Treasure Coast and South Carolina. I’m no mathematician, but something fishy is going on with red snapper statistics. Red snapper, a larger cousin of mutton snapper and mangrove snapper, resides in waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It is presently off limits to harvest by east coast anglers, and has been since 2010. The reason? Because 10 years ago, fisheries statisticians determined that the red snapper fishery was “undergoing overfishing.” Along with “jumbo shrimp,” that expression is still one of my all-time favorite oxymorons. click to continue reading the story here 08:28

Zurik: Snapper barons slam FOX 8 probe, but Trump admin. may think otherwise

An alliance of fishermen who make millions off a public resource wants us to retract all our stories from our “Hooked Up” series. The series showed how 50 fishermen can make $23 million a year from red snapper, and many never even drop a line in the water. The Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance and its executive director, Buddy Guindon, sent us a 23-page letter, calling our stories sloppy and biased. Many of the complaints focus on statements made by subjects we interviewed for our stories. They include 20 separate citations of comments in our series by Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana.,, Graves says he’s heard from congressmen from all over the country since our five-part series was broadcast. He thinks now is the time to change the system.,,,While the group of 50 fishermen have been unhappy with our reports, we’ve heard from dozens of others with positive comments, like a Florida commercial fisherman who wrote, “Your report hit home with all our concerns in regards to how unfair the small commercial fishermen are being treated and wrongly represented.”Read the story here 12:32

Hooked Up!!! Sea lords and the secret votes that made them rich

The votes helped create the system that now allows 50 businesses and fishermen to control 81 percent of the nation’s commercial red snapper allocation. Those fishermen can make a total of $23 million every year. And the government gets nothing in return from the fishermen. “This is a public asset,” Congressman Garret Graves says. “You and I own this. The public owns this. You know, people always talk about [how] government needs to run like a business. Could you ever imagine a business saying, ‘Oh, here’s our inventory, and it’s free! You come in a grocery store, you take whatever you want.’ The vote predates Graves’ term in Washington. But last decade, Congress helped orchestrate it. The feds wanted to start what’s called an IFQ program, short for “individual fishing quota”. Fishermen would get an allocation to fish the entire year. Congress required three votes – first by a little-known public body called the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council, an 11-member body that’s primarily appointed by the five Gulf states.  After the Gulf Council vote, Congress also required two votes by the commercial fishermen who already were permitted to fish for red snapper in the Gulf. And those are the votes that the federal government won’t let us see. Video, read the story here 11:09

HOOKED UP! PART II: Gulf Council chief talks about IFQ’s

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council manages the fishery resources in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s one of eight regional fishery management councils in the United States.  The Gulf Council essentially manages the fishery from the nine-mile mark out to the 200-mile limit.  “Before the IFQ, we tried a variety of ways to address the race for fish that was taking place,” says Dr. Roy Crabtree, regional administrator for the Gulf Council. “We had a limited commercial quota for red snapper. The fishermen were catching it up as quick as they could. They were flooding the market with fish  Fishery was closed most of the year, so we didn’t have year-round production. And we had safety-at-sea issues. Because fishermen were fishing in unsafe sea conditions. And we were having overruns of quota. Crabtree says the IFQ program was designed largely to address these problems. The article continues here 18:00

Playing Politics? NOAA: Red snapper data can’t be shared with states

sobeckA letter written late last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates  that if red snapper are ultimately removed from federal oversight to be managed by the five Gulf states, much of the data currently collected on the species by NOAA — including stock assessments — would not be shared with the states. The letter dated Sept. 22 from Eileen Sobeck to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon contradicts what Rep. Garret Graves — the author of H.R. 3094 that would strip red snapper from federal oversight and award it to the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority — has said about how potential costs associated with stock assessments and data collection for snapper will be covered if his legislation becomes law. But Graves said the letter is just another in a long list of allegations brought by the LDWF in an attempt to derail the bill. “The reality is this: NOAA is going to go out there and do fish surveys, and they don’t have any idea what type of fish is going to come up in that net or on that long line, so for them to suggest that they’re going to pretend that some fish isn’t there and another fish is there is completely bogus,” Graves said. “And if NOAA is going to jump in and play these political games with Charlie (Melancon), have at it. Y’all enjoy your next two and a half months of playing games because y’all are gone. It’s just continued silliness and obviously has no merit.” Read the story here 17:28

Coast Guard reports increase in seizures of Mexican vessels stealing Red Snapper

12050078_gA recent study by the U.S. Coast Guard states hundreds of thousands of pounds of red snapper is taken illegally out of the waters by Mexican fishermen. U.S. fisherman Stephen Murphy said he knows they are after the red snapper. “You’re out there fishing and you look a mile away… It’s pretty obvious there’s a Mexican in a commercial boat out there with their long lines and gill nets bringing in thousands of pounds of fish,” he said. Murphy said the fishermen also use illegal catching nets. He said there needs to be more done to protect the fish. “There’s nobody out there patrolling… They can go out and fish for one night and get a thousand pounds of snapper,” he said. “(They’re) selling it for almost eight thousand dollars.” Video, read the story here 08:03

Charlie Melancon’s Department Of Wrongdoing And Falsehood

charlie-melanconHave you been paying attention to the chaos at hand with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries? It appears that there is a full three-ring circus going on with DWF and its secretary, the former Democrat congressman Charlie Melancon. And after eight months on the job it’s pretty clear that perception among the in-the-know crowd was largely correct. The department is awash in controversy, if not criminality, and those affected by it are furious. To full explain this, we should go back several years to a program set up at the federal level. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which is a federal commission set up to govern offshore fishing in the five Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas), and the National Marine Fisheries Service set up something called the Individual Fishing Quota system, or IFQ, to govern commercial fishing for red snapper. Meaning, the federal government resorted to crony capitalism as a means to govern Gulf red snapper fisheries. If you were a big player in the red snapper harvest before the program got started, you were one of the cronies and your incumbency would be protected.  Read the story here. 19:20

Red snapper dispute continued at Wednesday meeting

red snapperThe war of words continued Wednesday during an all-day meeting in Baton Rouge designed to educate members of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on red snapper management. A surrogate of Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, presented a letter declaring states would not be responsible for research funding under HR 3094, a bill authored by Graves and Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, that would transfer management authority to Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. That directly contradicted charges made by Charlie Melancon, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, that the bill became an unfunded mandate when Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, tacked an amendment to it. “Amending things to death is how you kill a bill,” Melancon told the crowd of industry leaders and interested anglers Wednesday. “What was done to (HR 3094) was an attempt to kill the bill.” But Paul Sawyer, Graves’ chief of staff, presented a letter, signed by Bishop, stating that his amendment merely banned the transfer of funds to the states for fisheries research because that research would continue to be conducted by NOAA Fisheries. Read the story here 12:31

Better science and data, not catch shares

csf logoWith the exception of three mini-seasons (2012-2014) the red snapper fishery in the South Atlantic has been effectively closed for over six years. By most accounts from fishermen, red snapper are very plentiful – they are routinely encountered while fishermen target other species and divers report large schools. Yet, the stock assessment presented to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in June says that red snapper are still overfished and that overfishing is still occurring. This despite a lot of uncertainty about the data used in the assessment. Give the SAFMC credit for not accepting the assessment and asking its Scientific and Statistical Committee to reexamine the assessment and stock status determination this fall. The ongoing saga of the red snapper fishery highlights the fact that stock assessments can be flawed because of the lack of good biological and historical abundance information. In other words, much better science and data on our fisheries is needed. Instead of devoting adequate financial resources into stock assessments, NOAA has spent about $160 million over the last six years pushing its National Catch Share Policy in an effort to privatize fisheries. Studies have shown that catch share programs hurt fishing communities by destroying jobs and don’t provide any biological benefit to fisheries. 10:36

Rubio’s red snapper red herring

rubio redI see by the paper that Sen. Marco Rubio is getting into the political swim again. And once again he shows how unqualified he is for public office. Instead of weighing in on our really pressing problems here in Florida, he has chosen to take up the rights of sport fishermen to catch more red snapper. Seriously?,,,  But there are rules, which aim to protect all Floridians, including commercial fishing businesses. These rules are based on fact and science, a subject Sen. Rubio seems to know nothing about. We have some big problems to solve here in Florida and in our nation. A few examples include gun control, expanding health coverage by accepting the return of Florida taxes from the Fed, energy and education. These are the things I want to hear candidates talk about. Red snapper quotas are nothing but a “red herring.” Read the letter here 16:58

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries commissioner dismissed for pushing red snapper resolution, she says

red snapperA former member of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission says she was dismissed from the regulatory board after putting forward a resolution that irked Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon. Julie Hebert, who was appointed to the commission in October 2015 by then-Gov. Bobby Jindal, said she had received support from Gov. John Bel Edwards to have her term extended, but that was yanked after Hebert proposed a resolution supporting state management of red snapper. The resolution passed the commission unanimously in April. An avid recreational angler, Hebert said she’s been frustrated for years by what she views as federal mismanagement of red snapper. Fisheries biologists say the biomass of Gulf red snapper is higher than it’s ever been, and yet, recreational anglers have been squeezed down to annual seasons that are shorter than two weeks in federal waters. Read the story here 16:25

An open letter to all red snapper fishermen – An allocation solution?

redsnapperThere has been no proposal that can satisfy all the stakeholders in the Gulf Red Snapper fishery—the commercial, recreational and charter fleet. The latest move to reallocate red snapper quota from the commercials to the recs has angered the commercials because it took money from their business without adding significantly to the recs season. The same thing happened when the charter fleet separated from the recs. It gave them a longer season at the expense of the recs season. If you gave all the quota to the recs, two viable industries would be shut down and only increase their season to 18 days, roughly. Compounding the issue are the different regulations in state waters. It’s easy to game the system when I can practically fish in three, maybe four, states from Dauphin Island. So what do we do? I would ask you to consider a Gulf-wide tag system for the recs, very similar to the system for commercials and charter fleet. How would it work? Read the rest here 12:16

Opinion: Red Snapper recreational fishermen— Allow Reallocation Among Fishermen, want shift to state management

redsnapperMany Gulf Coast anglers have been asking themselves what the world is coming to lately, when they can fish federal waters for red snapper for only a few days this year while commercial boats can take sport fishermen out anytime to catch snapper for the boat to sell. I sure wondered how that could be when, in April, I first heard about Texas captain Scott Hickman’s trips,” which — quite legally — allow him to take sport fishermen along to fill his fish boxes per the commercial catch shares he owns. He accepts no payment from these anglers, just as by law he can accept no tips. The anglers cannot legally keep any fish nor buy fish from Hickman. But they can buy fish caught that day from the fish house back at the dock — for a premium price (at least a few bucks more per pound than the usual market price). At first, this scheme seemed outrageous to me, as it apparently did to many in the recreational-fishing community. Then I started trying to put my finger on why it pissed me off, and mostly I came up with reasons why it shouldn’t, especially when considered within the context of our bizarro snapper-management regime. Read the rest here 10:30

South Atlantic: Move surfaces to overhaul red snapper restrictions, limits

redsnapperFollowing the recent announcement that anglers will continue to be prohibited from keeping red snapper in the Atlantic Ocean this year, a member of the regional council that oversees fishing in the Southeast’s federal waters wants to overhaul how the species is regulated. Ben Hartig, a commercial fisherman from Hobe Sound, sent a letter last week to members of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council that said current regulations are based on unreliable information about the red snapper population and number of fish caught. Hartig proposed a range of possible changes to the years-long, controversial plan in place to help increase the species’ numbers that, if pursued by the council, could go into place as early as 2018. Read the rest here 10:24

South Atlantic Council, NOAA science gets ripped! Another crooked closure of red snapper

NOAA ScientistMany of you aren’t fishermen. But even if you don’t know a red snapper from gangsta rapper, this might still be worth a look. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council is as crooked and bloated a government bureaucracy as exists today. It perverts science. It feeds on special interests. More importantly, it squanders a natural resource. It announced this week the 2016 season for the American Red Snapper will be closed — as it was in 2015. During the three years prior, the season was open for a total of 12 days. It all began in 2008 when NOAA scientists determined that the red snapper stock in the South Atlantic was at just 3 percent of the biomass 50 years prior. That would have been 1958 when there was neither a NOAA, nor any other group counting red snapper. Perhaps 10 percent of all boats, recreational and commercial, could make the trip out 50 miles where the species thrives. There was no real sonar to find the hundreds of reefs where the fish spawned and no satellite positioning systems to find them again if you did hit a honey hole by accident or luck. So the “science” began as a fabrication, and that continues today. Read the op-ed here 07:45

Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders Alliance spokesman blasts NMFS over Red Snapper reallocation

redsnapperThe National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has announced a decision to re-allocate quota in favor of recreational fishermen, much to the dismay of commercial catchers. According to the rule published on the Federal Register on April 28, the recreational sector will get 51.5% of the quota, not their usual 49%. Eric Brazer, Jr., deputy director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, lambasted NMFS for the move. “Despite overwhelming opposition from the public, scientists, environmentalists, seafood supply chain, and our legal representative, not to mention unanimous opposition from the commercial red snapper industry, NMFS has decided to take red snapper allocation away from commercial fisherman and give it to the recreational sector that has overfished its allocation for nearly a quarter century,”,, Read the rest here 12:55

The “Catch Shares Fishing Experience.” Texas charter captains use loophole to get around federal red snapper limits

-fdbbe4a2846f729fThe future of recreational fishing in the Gulf of Mexico is for sale in Texas. While charter boats and private recreational anglers in the Gulf were only allowed to catch red snapper in federal waters on 10 days last year, two companies in Galveston, Texas have been taking recreational anglers red snapper fishing all year round. The Texas companies have been getting around the federal limits and seasons by selling the “Catch Shares Fishing Experience.” The Texas companies involved own “catch shares” of the commercial red snapper fishery that allow them to harvest a set number of pounds per year for commercial sale. Instead of catching those fish with a professional crew and selling them to a fish house, the captains are taking recreational anglers fishing and letting them buy the fish afterward. Read the article here 07:54

Red-snapper limits help Louisiana’s restaurants and economy: Brett Veerhusen and Haley Bittermann

redsnapperLouisiana catches about 1 billion pounds of seafood every year for commercial sale, and with the demand for local seafood at an all-time high, we rely on our nation’s fishery management process to ensure sustainable fisheries. Louisiana restaurants rely on locally sourced, sustainably managed seafood. Close to 70 percent of seafood harvested off the Gulf Coast is landed in Louisiana. Chances are your delicious plate of red snapper is from one of our many locally run Gulf fisheries. Read the rest here 10:13

In the Gulf – Effects of Illegal Fishing on Local Fishing Industry

9728207_GOver 1,000 pounds of red snapper were seized from a lancha by the U.S. Coast Guard. There were 4 Mexican nationals aboard the boat. They were taken to the U.S. Coast Guard at the island. A charter fisherman said when people fish illegally his profits take a big hit. It can also drain a fishing spot. “Everything changed. We didn’t catch anything in that area, nothing. We didn’t even mark anything on our fish finder. It was absolutely zero,” Michael Walker said. Walker takes people out to fish. If there are no fish to catch, it can result in the loss of a customer. Read the rest here 09:19

Gulf Fishermen Sue Feds Over Red Snapper Quota Rule

statue-of-liberty-with-flagIn anticipation of clawing back red snapper quotas from Gulf Coast commercial fishers, feds have “frozen” red snapper fishing altogether, a group of fishermen claim in court. Following the proposal of a Republican-supported bill last fall with strong support from recreational fishermen that would have wrested control of red snapper regulations from the feds and placed it in the hands of individual states, the federal agencies in charge of regulation moved instead to grant recreational fishermen higher quotas for fish they are allowed to catch.  Read the article here 15:40

Officials calling for more accurate fish counts

The federal agency in charge of the nation’s fisheries should do a better job counting fish so it can develop proper catch limits for recreational anglers, a report by Congress’ investigative arm concludes. The analysis by the Government Accountability Office was requested nearly three years ago by several Republican senators from the Gulf Coast who believe the Obama administration may have been overly restrictive in imposing catch limits on several popular fish, including red snapper. Read the article here 09:10

Red Snapper Fisherman Charged with Illegal Gear in State Waters

logol f&w Enforcement agents cited Seven P. Rhoto, 37, for using bandit gear in state waters.  Bandit gear is allowed to be used in federal waters and is normally used by federally permitted reef fish holders, but is illegal in Louisiana water. Agents observed a vessel using bandit gear fishing for red snapper near the mouth of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish.  Upon inspection of the vessel, agents found Rhoto in possession of 1,088 pounds of red snapper, 44 pounds of lane snapper and 17 pounds of white trout. Read the rest here 12:45

Video – Louisiana anglers want control of red-snapper fishery, survey shows

This year for the first time, NOAA Fisheries separated the recreational charter fleet from private-boat anglers, offering federally licensed guides a 44-day red snapper season. That move seemed to be popular with survey respondents. Among private-boat anglers, 53 percent said the groups should be managed separately, either by the state or the feds. Sector separation was even more popular with federally permitted guides, with 65 percent saying they support it. Read the rest here 12:23

Sport fishermen win greater share of red snapper catch

On Thursday, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council increased the share of the catch going to recreational fishermen — made up of charter boats and non-commercial anglers. The council met in New Orleans. The change gives recreational fishermen 51.5 percent of the total catch and commercial fishermen 48.5 percent. Currently the catch is split 50-50. The change needs the approval of the U.S. Commerce Department. Commercial fishermen opposed giving recreational fishermen a greater share and said the shift would keep red snapper off the tables of restaurants. Read the rest here 19:31

State control of red snapper fisheries creates problems – Tom Marvel, owner/operator, F/V Sea Marvel

Tom Marvel is owner/operator of the commercial fishing vessel Sea MarvelMuch has been written about the ongoing debate over red snapper, most recently by J. Scott Butherus of the Naples Daily News in July. I would like to offer a different perspective. The article criticizes the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council for treating red snapper as one homogeneous group and therefore managing them as such. However, biologically they are one group. It seems the article takes issue with current management, more so with how fishermen are managed as opposed to how the fish are managed. Read the rest here 08:49

U.S. senators want longer red snapper season, Gulf Council looks at reallocation!

Despite a letter from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is not looking to extend the federal recreational red snapper season for 2015. (shoulda known that, fellas) NOAA Southeast Regional Administrator Roy Crabtree predicted one of the items the council will vote on at its August (GMFMC)meeting is moving 390,000 pounds of catching capacity from the commercial sector to recreational, thus extending the season. Read the rest here 20:46

Rubio, Nelson want an open red snapper season

Last week, No Fishing announced the red snapper fishery will remain closed in South Atlantic federal waters in 2015 because of overfishing..Florida’s senators are asking the Obama administration to review its decision not to open up the South Atlantic to red snapper fishing. “There will not be commercial or recreational seasons in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level,” the notice said. Read the rest here

Red Snapper: management of a public resource gone completely haywire. And we’re paying to have this done to us.

NOAA ScientistIt’s important to note here that the total allowable take isn’t based solely on the feds’ vague guesswork on the number of landings. No, they add in what they believe to be the discard mortality rates — that of fish released and dying sometime later, predominately because of barotrauma. That occurs to differing extents when fish are brought up from depths and their air bladders expand too quickly — and don’t return to normal quickly enough when released. The federal scientists use a number to determine how often this happens. In the case of snapper, they speculate that 40 percent of all released fish die in the recreational sector and 60 percent in the commercial sector. Read the rest here 09:33

South Atlantic Fishery Management Council – No red snapper take in 2015

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council announced Friday, there will not be commercial or recreational season in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level. In other news, the SAFMC also announced that no more recreational harvest of blueline tilefish in South Atlantic waters will be allowed after 12:01 a.m. (local time) Wednesday. The commercial sector for blueline tilefish was closed to harvest on April 7. Read the rest here 13:02

Letter: It’s time to resolve the conflicts over national red snapper fishing rules – Mark Mathews

earthjustice $upereco-manRed snapper is the most mismanaged fish in this country. I consider many charter captains dear friends. They are important friends and clients, and I try very hard to promote their businesses as much as I can. My criticism is not of them but of the environmentalists (EDF) who have shamelessly and unnecessarily come to our region to create conflicts and turn fishing friends against each other and the federal fisheries managers who have encouraged those conflicts. Read the rest here 11:08

Are you as sick of Red Snapper Crap in the Reauthorization as I am?

I’m reading this article about Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge resurrecting his Red Snapper bill that was flushed during the House vote of HR1335. It appears that political pandering is the reason. The recreational people have a beef about getting shorted in the number of days they can fish, but to look at the allocation percentage, or the year round commercial fishery as the reason, is wrong. This issue is another NOAA created crisis. Read the article here 18:41

Rep. Bradley Byrne argues for new red snapper rules in face of Obama veto threat

Even as members of the U.S. House began debate on changes to the act that regulates the nation’s fisheries, the Obama administration indicated that the president would be advised to veto the revised legislation. The bill has the support of a diverse group of businesses, organizations and individuals representing fishermen and fishing communities from the East, West and Gulf coasts, who jointly signed a letter supporting HR 1335. The letter states its opposition, however, to a proposal from the five Gulf state marine resources directors,, Read the rest here 15:48

Rep. John Fleming: Congress not going to gut red-snapper management for benefit of recreational anglers

Freshman Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) proposed an amendment in a House Natural Resources Committee meeting last week that would have transferred red-snapper management authority from the federal government to the states. Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana’s only other representative on the committee, abstained from voting on Graves’ amendment, which drew the ire of recreational fishing-industry leaders. In an interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, he explained his reasons for not voting: Read the rest here 12:12

Charter captain refutes red snapper commentary

The “scheme” discussed in the commentary by Mr. Brown (4-15-15 issue) is not that the five state plan will destroy the commercial fishery -far from it, as all the states fully understand the importance of the commercial fishery providing safe local seafood to the consumer. The “scheme” is from the many commercial red snapper IFQ (Individual Fishing Quota) owners who mislead the consumers, the seafood houses and restaurants about what they want to do with their commercially harvested red snapper. Read the rest here 08:16

Red Snapper scheme could destroy fishery

If this scheme becomes law, it could soon become difficult or impossible to legally buy American Red Snapper. Retailers, restaurants and grocery stores will be simply unable to provide consumers with the genuine American Red Snapper that is increasingly popular across the country.  Read the rest here 09:40

Battle for red snapper begins in Gulf

“The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s  has failed to adequately account for the size and well being of the red snapper stock in the Gulf of Mexico,” Byrne says. “They have continued to use outdated and ineffective methods to each sample for red snapper and measure how many fish are getting caught as soon as the season begins, and they have frankly lost all credibility.” Read the rest here 09:50

Transferring red-snapper control to states is adored and despised – the current mess created by federal mismanagement.

“There is now no question in our minds that our state directors do not represent the best interests of commercial fishermen. They fight us at every turn, trying to destabilize our business plans and promote half-baked ideas that hurt conservation and undermine sustainability. This scam will hurt hardworking commercial fishermen and the American public that wants to eat fresh, sustainably harvested red snapper.”  — Buddy Guindon, executive director of the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance, Read the rest here photo  16:33

No NOAA Confidence! 5 Gulf States Propose Gulf State Red Snapper Management Authority

ast week, marine fishery directors from all five states bordering the Gulf of Mexico — the first time all of the states have collaborated — sent out a proposal to Congress to develop an independent body, Gulf State Red Snapper Management Authority. The group would approve each state’s management plan, coordinate population assessments, provide consistent accountability measures and distribute federal funding for research, assessment and management. Read the rest here 18:50

Macaluso: Recreational anglers demonized by Commercial Fishermen in GMFMC hearing

After listening to the testimony during Wednesday afternoon’s Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s public comment period, it’s clear, when it comes to red snapper, commercial fishing interests are determined to demonize recreational fishermen. Commercial fishermen talk about how a certain fishing segment “steals” fish from them, and there’s no veiling their comments that the “segment” refers to recreational fishermen. Read the rest here 07:49

Sikes: Snapper battle ramps up a notch

CORPUS CHRISTI – As expected, speculation and the latest outrage regarding red snapper regulations are ramping up for an epic battle. The Gulf Coast Fisheries Management Council voted to recommend a proposal that would divide the annual recreational quota of red snapper into separate portions. Read the rest here 08:15

Gulf Council votes 10-7 in favor of Amendment 40 – 75 percent of gulf red snapper fishery would go to private businesses forever

GMFMC SidebarThursday’s 10-7 vote by the Gulf Council favors a document referred to as Amendment 40, which would create rules for anglers fishing from charter boats that would be separate and different from rules that regulate anglers fishing from private boats for snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Read the rest here 20:29

Charter Captains on Red Snapper Regulation

GMFMC SidebarThe  has been hearing from the public today regarding management issues for red snapper. . The public hearing was held at the Battle House Hotel. Right now, charter companies are held under the same rules and regulations as private recreational fisherman. Video, Read more here 08:04

Red snapper amendments are on the table and all alternatives are bad: reader opinion

GMFMC SidebarOn the table for discussion are a couple of contentious issues. The most immediate is Amendment 40, which would separate the recreational community into two sectors – the “for hire” or charter sector and the private recreational sector. The other issue, Amendment 28, would address reallocation of the red snapper quota between the recreational and commercial sectors. Read the rest here 18:57

The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council is scheduled to meet in Biloxi, Miss. to discuss red snapper rules

Charlene Ponce, the council’s public information officer, said final action on the issue will not be taken until October. The question of sector separation is one that wildlife groups including the Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association believe could cut private anglers’ access to red snapper. On the other side, charter captains argue the move is necessary to protect their livelihoods. Read more here 09:34

Red snapper catches reported as outstanding, stock assessment needed now

council_fishing_headerAfter two of the three weekends of the red snapper recreational mini-season, outstanding catches have been reported throughout the South Atlantic region. Here are some of the news reports: Read more here 14:06

The warped notions of a Red Snapper Rec Shill – Red snapper management is broken

There was a time when wild duck was a staple of any Chesapeake Bay restaurant. Canvasbacks were a particular favorite. The ducks were killed by commercial hunters. Some mounted huge 4-gauge guns on the bows of their duck boats, stealthily sculled up to big rafts of ducks and maximized their kill by firing into the flock sitting on the water. Read more here 09:30

The Red Snapper War – Gulf states fight back as feds seek to reel in recreational fishing season

Gulf Coast charter captains say the feds are ruining their businesses by needlessly cutting their fishing season in response to complaints from commercial fishermen, and now their state lawmakers are stepping up to tackle the issue. “Environmental organizations, who have infiltrated our federal government — they are hell-bent on reducing the fleet of fisherman,” Zales said. Read more here 16:58

U.S. Sen. David Vitter – Protecting red snapper fishing – The Commercial/Recreational Conflict

The group responsible for overseeing our fisheries and protecting this access is the Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Council. But this group, supposedly dedicated to fairly managing our fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico, continues to chip away at the rights of recreational anglers — particularly with access to the red snapper fishery. Read more here 08:20

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) Announces Legislation Affecting Red Snapper, Gulf Fisheries

“The bill provides sufficient resources and direction to improve the management of our Nation’s fisheries, including new approaches to manage red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Shelby.  “These new approaches should provide a more equitable system for commercial fishermen and increase the number of fishing days for recreational anglers.” Read more here 16:15

Mississippi to start voluntary snapper reporting program – (It should be mandatory)

BILOXI, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources will start its voluntary red snapper reporting program for recreational fishermen on June 1. The purpose of the program is to allow agency officials to better track how many red snapper are being harvested and landed in Mississippi.  Read more here  15:13

South Mississippi’s recreational and charter fishermen want more snapper

BILOXI — If South Mississippi recreational fishermen and charter boat operators had their way, they would get a larger share of the red snapper quota. That was the message of voting Tuesday night at the Red Snapper Summit put on by the state Department of Marine Resources. Read more here  13:32

Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting Proposed

In Florida state waters, a proposed rule from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission would give more definition to the numbers of reef species. The proposal, designed to provide more accurate catch and effort data for reef fishing, would require private recreational anglers to take part in the Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System. theledger.com  Read more here  15:44

Red Snapper Season in Jeopardy

Local fisherman are worried there may not be a snapper season this year or next. The concerns come after a federal court ruled the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has the authorities to close off federal waters. Read more here 11:48

National Marine Fisheries Service violated law – Federal Ruling on Allocation Favors Gulf Commercial Red Snapper Fishermen

GSI-LogoFederal Ruling on Allocation Favors Gulf Commercial Red Snapper Fishermen A federal ruling has been handed down that the U.S. government violated the law by failing to properly manage the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper fishery. Read more here  16:16

Share the Gulf Coalition to promote fair access to the red snapper fishery.

The issue in front of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, the federal body charged with regulating red snapper, is what helped catalyze the group’s formation, supporters said. Currently, the council tries to control overfishing by dividing a calculated amount of red snapper almost evenly between commercial and recreational fishermen so each sector gets about half of the overall quota. [email protected] 14:43

NMFS to open 2-week October recreational red snapper season, commercial boat owners will get their new individual fishing quotas

More information is available here. Visit the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council website. 12:40

“The first thing we noticed was a single red snapper float by, Then, in an instant, it was a floatilla of dead red snapper as far as we could see.”

They have plenty of fishing tales to tell, but it’s a disturbing discovery last August that the Helldivers wanted to share. WTF??? [email protected]

The South Atlantic region welcomes back the Red Snapper

— After being closed for almost two years, the Red Snapper season is now open  to the fishers again. [email protected]

Red snapper season to open

The commercial season will open on Aug. 26 and will end when the annual catch limit is projected to be met, NOAA officials said. The daily trip limit will be 75 pounds gutted weight with no minimum size limit. [email protected]

Commercial anglers aren’t hoarding snapper

I read with astonishment Capt. Bob Zales II’s opinion in The News Herald (“Red snapper fishing ‘haves’ are suing the ‘have-nots’,” letter, July 14) concerning the commercial red snapper fisherman’s lawsuit (Guindon v. Pritzker) filed June 28 in Washington, D.C. [email protected]