Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo
(MS-4) today released the following statement in response to NOAA's announcement that the federal recreational-angler red snapper season for 2017 has been reduced to three days.
“Today NOAA announced that our red snapper season this year will be 3 days. In 2006, there were 193 days. In 2016, there were 11, and now we have 3. This numerical pattern alone is a clear implication that the current methods are ineffective.”
“The science and federal data being used to make these decisions is outdated and one-dimensional. More importantly, it does not take into account state-generated data or state input. There is no reason federal bureaucrats should be making decisions that have significant impacts on Mississippi with no input from our fishermen.
“The states understand not only the conservation aspect of red snapper fishery, but also the tremendous economic impact that it provides to each state. That is why I was pleased today to welcome Jamie Miller, Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, who testified before the House Oversight and Government Committee on this extremely important issue.”
During his testimony Mr. Miller emphasized the importance of state and federal coordination both in terms of management and data collection, stating “I and other members of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council have requested NOAA to provide more timely and accurate updates to stock assessments for Red Snapper. Unfortunately, this issue remains unchanged… We remain at a crucial point in the management of this species… when a species has been placed in a rebuilding plan, it remains trapped there until a substantial effort is made to collect timely and accurate data to show it has recovered.”
According to a report released by the American Sportfishing Association, the recreational red snapper fishery alone supported upwards of 2,600 jobs and generated $395 million in economic output in our region in 2011.
Congressman Palazzo is also a co-sponsor of the Modern Fish Act, introduced by Garret Graves early last month. This bill would improve access to America’s federal waters, protect marine resources, and spur economic growth.