The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will implement a 40-day red snapper season in State and Federal waters off the coast of Florida beginning June 11, 2018.
Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved an exempted fishing permit filed by the FWC that will provide more flexibility in the management of the Gulf red snapper fishery. CCA is pleased that the FWC will implement a 40-day red snapper season in State and Federal waters off the coast of Florida as a result of the approved EFP.
“We have been involved in the red snapper fishery for years and we’re encouraged by this forward-thinking by the FWC,” stated Executive Director Brian Gorski. “We are big proponents of state management and would like to see full state management for all reef fish in the future.”
As the federal season in Florida has dwindled annually, from a year-round fishery to a proposed three-day season last year, the red snapper stock continues to grow. CCA sees a great advantage of having the State fully manage reef fish, as they were able to implement a 43-day season last year and a 40-day season this year.
The EFP will provide FWC the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to effectively manage the recreational red snapper fishery by using current data collection methods and incorporating new reporting tools such as iSnapper. However, the FWC is still limited by NOAA and cannot fully manage these fisheries, as NOAA dictates the total allowable recreational catch that is given to the State.
CCA Florida commends the FWC for their willingness to work with recreational anglers and believes that a longer red snapper season will be beneficial for Florida’s economy while providing opportunities for families to enjoy the fishery.
The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council is also looking at limited season for Red Snapper. CCA is in favor of a season in the South Atlantic and CCA encourages commenting to NOAA online.