For over 28 years the annual Gulf of Mexico red snapper quota never got above 9.1 million pounds. The allocation for non-boating consumers/restaurants and retailers is 51%. The allocation for anglers and charter-for-hire is 49%.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (GOMFMC) recently increased the annual red snapper allocation) by 30% to 14.2 million pounds from 11.1 million pounds in 2014. This scientifically-based significant increase follows an all-time low of 5.1 million pounds of red snapper allowed just 6.5 years ago.
A federal fishery management plan justifying a 185% increase in red snapper quota in less than 7 years is a success story of the highest order. It can hardly be called all the bad names the cca type folks are calling NOAA and the Council. Do you suppose the cca’s grab for total control of red snapper is political and not scientific? Can the strident angler groups, marine manufacturers and importers of foreign tackle and goods ever have enough fish? Of course they can’t. They want all the red snapper just like they stole all the redfish and the lion’s share of most fish species.
Does it escape the non-militant anglers that the “state water” loophole and total lack of any acceptance of a new system of management has something to do with their reduced access in federal waters? Even with the federal District Court mandated ruling requiring NMFS to stop the constant over fishing of the angler’s annual allocation, the 2015 federal GOM red snapper season would have been close to 30 days which would have been a 3 week increase from last year. What stopped this 3-week increase? The answer is the CCA scorched earth initiative promoting the “state water” loop hole rendered the federal EEZ red snapper fishing to ZERO FEDERAL DAYS in 2015. Maybe that’s what they wanted. Create a crisis then sneak through bad laws.
The angler groups don’t want management; they want total control by as few men as possible. The avaricious red snapper plan crafted behind locked doors at a secret meeting by five state fish commission directors/proxies is not good governance and should be defeated at any venue it is presented.
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