Byrne concerned about short snapper season

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, April 9, 2014

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama) is concerned that the federal government has limited the red snapper season too far.

Late Tuesday, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Reef Fish Committee announced its proposal to limit the red snapper season to just 11 days in the summer. Different states could set their seasons on various days, but would be limited to the 11-day limit.

The committee’s recommendation will be put to a vote before the full council Thursday.

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“The day the federal government places the well-being of fish over people, we know we have truly lost our way,” Byrne said. “An 11-day red snapper season will be devastating to our local fishermen and the communities dependent on this important industry for tourism and economic activity.”

Byrne said he would prefer for states to have the right to set their own fishing seasons.

“Using my position on the Natural Resources Committee, I am working with committee leadership and staff to find a solution that will return regulatory power back to state authorities that are able to incorporate common sense and on-the-ground experience into this process, since the federal government clearly can not,” he said. “I’ll keep fighting to ensure this gross mistake is not allowed to take root in the long term.”

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is a regional council that was established by the Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 1976. The council proposes fishery management plans, which are designed to help manage fishery resources within a 200-mile limit of the Gulf of Mexico.