Commission Agenda Item No. 12
Presenter: Robin Riechers

Red Snapper
May 22, 2019

I.      Executive Summary: Management of the red snapper fishery continues to be very contentious throughout the Gulf of Mexico. Though red snapper stock continues to recover, recreational anglers have seen shorter and shorter seasons in recent years. The disparity in management of this species has become more pronounced in recent years with the separation of private recreational anglers and recreational anglers who fish from federally permitted for-hire vessels. However, recent actions taken by the National Marine Fisheries Service and Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council may provide some relief to the private recreational sector. The Coastal Fisheries staff will provide an update on this fishery and an overview of the recently passed Amendment 50 – State Management of Recreational Red Snapper.

II.      Discussion: The red snapper fishery has been on a recovering trajectory, and by many accounts, the fishery population is at an all-time high, yet the management of the fishery for the private recreational season has seen continual reductions in days allowed to fish in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Recent efforts by Congress and the Secretary of Commerce have provided some additional opportunities for private recreational anglers. The staff will provide a general overview of these recent efforts including an update on the first year of the Exempted Fishing Permit and the elements of Amendment 50 — State Management of Recreational Red Snapper, which was recently passed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council.