Landrieu says shortened red snapper season hurting fishermen - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Landrieu says shortened red snapper season hurting fishermen

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WASHINGTON (KNOE 8 News) - U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La. today said news that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has cut the Gulf of Mexico red snapper season from 40 days to nine underscores the need to transfer the authority to determine the season length to Gulf coast states. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Landrieu and David Cresson, Executive Director of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, met with U.S. Senator Mark Begich, D-AK, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, to urge Senate action on her bill, the Red Snapper Conservation Act, which would transfer the decision from the federal government to states along the Gulf.

“Today’s reckless announcement of a nine-day red snapper season severely hurts our fishermen and the Gulf economy. After Louisiana’s successful efforts to collect data and manage our red snapper fisheries, it’s maddening to have a federal agency tell our local fishermen that they will be unfairly subjected to the shortest red snapper season in history. Given the rising stocks of red snapper a nine-day season is unthinkable and it’s a stark reminder that the old system governing recreational fishing for red snapper is unquestionably broken,” Sen. Landrieu said. “I introduced the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act to transfer management of red snapper out of the federal bureaucracy and into the hands of the Gulf State officials who work with our fishermen on a daily basis. Coastal economies rely on charter operators, marinas and recreational anglers to pump $12 billion into the Gulf economy every year, and they deserve regular, reliable seasons. Louisiana fisherman and visitors from all over the world shouldn’t be punished for a federal bureaucracy that can’t understand that more fish should mean more opportunities to fish. I am committed to protecting and preserving these opportunities and the way of life that makes Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise.”

“As I told many senators today, the federal management of Gulf red snapper is in complete chaos,” said David Cresson. “This year, we are facing a drastically short nine-day red snapper season for the public to go fishing for this abundant and popular fish. This is unacceptable for recreational anglers and the coastal economies that depend on them. I’d like to thank Senator Landrieu for introducing the Red Snapper Conservation Act which would provide great relief to the red snapper anglers and continuing to advocate on behalf of Louisiana sportsmen. We have hit a dead end on federal management of red snapper. We must provide alternative management tools for the Gulf Council and make sure the data used to set these seasons reflects the abundance of red snapper.”

Sen. Landrieu introduced bipartisan legislation that will transfer management authority of the Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery from the federal government to the Gulf Coast states.

The Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper Conservation Act of 2013 (S.1161) addresses an erratic rule-making process that was rejected by a Federal court in Texas last year for impermissibly discriminating against citizens of different states. The bill is also consistent with the efforts of the Gulf Coast Governors to promote responsible regional management.

Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued three separate red snapper seasons for Gulf Coast States, wreaking havoc on the recreational fishing industry that contributes billions to the regional economy.

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