H.R. 3094 the “Gulf Coast Red Snapper Management Authority Act,” just left the House Natural Resource Committee with bi-partisan support. It is a bill to transfer management of Red Snapper, in the Gulf of Mexico, from the Feds to the appropriate States. It still needs the full approval of the House and Senate, along with the President’s signature to be become law, it wouldn’t hurt to call your Congressman and the President.
“Once it becomes law, the mechanism in the bill for the transfer of management authority is very simple: Once a States agree on their management plan, then the responsibility moves to that States,” the President of CCC (Center for Coastal Conservation) said to news organizations in June. The CCC is just one of many groups who have worked tirelessly to change the way Red Snapper is regulated for the recreational anglers. The Red Snapper season this year was only 9 days, causing these anglers to see red.
The House has really stepped up to the plate when it comes to challenging fisheries issues, the last couple of years. They passed a fix to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Act, which had grouped commercial and recreational fishing into one big pot, regulating everyone the same. The President of Congressional Sportsmen’s foundation said “The Feds model is clearly not working, and it’s time for a more balanced approach to the management of fisheries.”
Remember the ole cliché’ “The government that governs best is the one closest to the people?” Well, the same could be said for fish management. The reason the Feds are having problems is because their data collection methods are not able to measure recreational angler’s harvest accurately. All of the Gulf States have been measuring this on their own quite effectively. The states management process will be combined with their already existing data collection procedures, for the red snapper population itself. This will put the states in the perfect position to assume all new management responsibilities from the Feds.
This new method of management should allow recreational anglers to have well over the current 9 day fishing season. They will have access to one of the most thriving Gulf of Mexico red snapper populations, in decades. Texas and Louisiana red snapper anglers deserve much more than the current system by the Feds is providing for them and states are the best way to make that happen. They have proven themselves in this area time and time again, providing the populations sustainability while giving anglers plenty of reasonable fishing opportunities. If this all sounds like something you would like you may want to call you Congressman and the President to pass and sign the bill into law.
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