In all the acrimony over the years between commercial fishermen and recreational anglers who target red snapper, it is often overlooked that an almost invisible third party held the real key to the recovery of this prized sport fish. Despite shrinking seasons and tighter bag limits, no management action of any kind was having a positive impact on red snapper until the hurricane season of 2005. That year, the Gulf was ravaged by storms, including Katrina and Rita, which ultimately reduced shrimping effort by more than 80 percent due to the destruction of most of the Gulf shrimp fleet. At roughly the same time, CCA had filed a lawsuit seeking to force NOAA to acknowledge the massive impact of shrimp trawl bycatch of juvenile red snapper, and ultimately prevailed. That victory resulted in a federal judge’s order to NOAA to reduce mortality of juvenile red snapper in shrimp trawls by 74 percent. By judge or nature, the shrimp industry was finally identified as a significant harvester of red snapper and was forced to shoulder its share of the red snapper recovery.