WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today released the following statement after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved state-led fishery management pilot programs for red snapper, which were established through Senator Shelby’s work on the Senate Appropriations Committee. The vote occurred during a meeting in New Orleans to review various items.
“I am pleased that the Gulf Council approved each of the states’ proposals to manage red snapper and other reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a critical step that will provide private anglers more days to fish on the water,” said Senator Shelby. “These state-led pilot programs will offer an alternative management framework for recreational fishermen in the Gulf and ensure that states are taking the lead in overseeing this abundant and invaluable fishery.”
Senator Shelby authored language in the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service to develop the fishery management pilot program allowing states to direct reef fish management activities.
The state-led pilot programs will be implemented in designated zones off the coast of each respective state bordering the Gulf of Mexico. With the Council’s approval, NOAA is now required to publish the plans and allow for a 30 day comment period. NOAA must then ratify each plan before implementation begins.