Florida Commission Stands Up For Anglers

A crucial vote on a highly controversial management measure for Gulf red snapper is scheduled for this week.

October 20, 2014
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Help Fix Red Snapper Management, Urge the Gulf Council to Adopt “Alternative #9”

From The Hook: Jeff Angers, Center for Coastal Conservation: It breaks my heart that families all along the Gulf Coast have been limited to just one weekend of Red Snapper fishing in federal waters in each of the last two years — all because of an allocation system that relies on outdated information that was gathered 30 years ago, in the early 1980s. It’s hard to explain why recreational anglers, who pay the costs for conservation efforts with license purchases and excise taxes on fishing gear and fuel, are taking a backseat to a handful of corporate commercial fishing operators who have year-round access. Next month, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council can do something about it. With the Red Snapper fishery healthier than ever, the Gulf Council in August will consider a series of options to help remedy more than three decades of mistakes. I hope you will take a moment to urge the Gulf Council — in your own words — to adopt “Alternative #9.” If adopted by the Council, Alternative #9 will modernize the current allocation (51% commercial to 49% recreational) to a more reasonable 57.5% recreational to 42.5% commercial. The recreational Annual Catch Limit would also be increased — from 6.84 million lbs. to 8.049 million lbs. We’ve been told that form letters won’t be given much weight, so please use your own words; just be sure and urge the Council to adopt “Alternative #9.” Please, take a moment to make your thoughts known. You can file your comments at Doug Olander

A crucial vote on a highly controversial management measure for Gulf red snapper is scheduled for this week during the Gulf Council’s meeting in Mobile. Known as Amendment 40 – Sector Separation, it is a radical departure from traditional management methods that will allow a broken management system to stay in place for most recreational anglers, and grant special access privileges to a select group of charter/for-hire operators.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission exhibited the type of visionary leadership necessary to address this complicated issue with a thoughtful letter to the Gulf Council, stating that Commissioners were concerned private anglers would be “cast as an after-thought in the Council’s sector separation proposal and would face additional severe harvest cuts under the proposed allocation shift.”

As the critical vote draws near, proponents of this privatization scheme – environmental groups, commercial fishing entities and a select few charter/for-hire businesses – are applying tremendous pressure to undermine FWC’s stand for anglers and our continued access to the resources of the Gulf. It is important for us to let FWC Commissioners know that we appreciate their support and are grateful for their leadership and foresight.


Please take a moment to send a message to the Commission and let them know we are proud to stand with them in this fight.

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