Campaign Updates

Red Snapper Debate Goes to Washington

Posted on December 4th, 2014

We’ve heard it over and over. “This fishery out here is filled with snapper.” Congressman Bradley Byrne saw for himself on a fishing trip last May just before a nine day, federal red snapper season started.

The shortest red snapper season ever, ramped up efforts for states to manage their own red snapper fisheries. A congressional committee will hear why that’s a good idea from Alabama Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship. “We do have the ability to manage this stock regionally and not have to do this through the federal government the way it’s been done for the past two decades.”

Last season, Alabama anglers reported landing 418 thousand pounds of snapper. The federal government count, more than twice that amount at one million 41 thousand pounds. That disparity will be part of Blankenship’s testimony. “I definitely think if we show we can do this in Alabama it shows the system can be fixed and managed a different way.”

“We got plenty of these fish,” says Byrne. “They need to let us fish em.” It will be up to Congress to make the changes needed for that to happen.

Blankenship says tomorrows testimony most likely will not have any impact on the 2015 season. The state will continue the red snapper reporting system again next year.