Palazzo Pleased With Length of Red Snapper Season
Washington, DC - Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) released the following statement after NOAA announced the federal recreational-angler red snapper season for 2018.
"As a lifelong recreational fisherman, I was very pleased to hear the season will be significantly longer for 2018. This is a major increase from last year and is a direct result of the hard work of our state agencies and members of the Gulf Coast delegation. I was able to serve as a liaison, to help bridge the disparities between state and local fisheries management, and deliver power back to the states that know their fishing resources best. We've been successful in increasing the length of snapper season and reducing the federal intervention in what we know should be managed by our state agencies," Palazzo said.
"Last year, after a three day season was announced, my Gulf Coast colleagues and I immediately began working with the respective state agencies and President Trump's Administration to present them with the locally collected data for the red snapper populations. The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources' efforts to work with the administration were a driving force behind these expanded seasons. I applaud Secretary Ross, the NOAA Fisheries department, and the entire Mississippi Department of Marine Resources for their commitment to finding a solution to this issue, and working together to improve data management."
NOAA Fisheries announced a comment period on March 12, 2018 on five exempted fishing permits (EFPs) submitted by each of the Gulf states. Each state, including Mississippi, submitted an EFP that would allow them to set the season(s) for recreationally caught red snapper from state and federal waters. These EFPs were meant to allow states the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of state management of recreationally caught red snapper as well as data collection methods through 2-year pilot programs. The period for comments officially closed on April 2, 2018.
Mississippi's EFP Details
Mississippi requested an annual quota of 137,949 pounds of red snapper for the private angling component to be landed in 2018 and 2019. This was based off 2017 landings reported to MDMR's Tails n' Scales electronic reporting system. If the approved quota amount is exceeded, a payback of the quota overage would be applied for 2019.
The Department of Commerce approved for the snapper season to be open from May 25 to September 3.