After years of dealing with frustrating federal red snapper regulations, good news may be on the way for the Alabama’s red snapper fishermen and coastal communities.
On Friday, Alabama 1st District U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne on Friday announced the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed a new rule to increase the annual catch limits (ACLs) and annual catch targets (ACTs) for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico based on a recent stock assessments.
“This increase from NOAA shows exactly what those of us on the Gulf Coast have known for years: the health of the Red Snapper fishery is incredibly strong,” said Byrne. “These latest numbers will further drive us to continue fighting for greater state control over the Red Snapper fishery and a full and adequate Red Snapper fishing season.”
In 2017, Byrne worked with Senator Richard Shelby and other Gulf Coast congressmen to secure a full Red Snapper season for Alabama’s recreational fishermen. A full 47 day season was approved by the the National Marine Fisheries Service in April 2018.
Through Jan. 3 2019, the NOAA Fisheries is requesting public comment on the proposed rule. Comments may be submitted online or by mail to Peter Hood, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.