WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) today released the following statement regarding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries announcement to shorten the 2017 federal recreational season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico:
“I am deeply troubled and disappointed with NOAA’s decision to considerably shorten the federal recreational fishing season for red snapper in the Gulf. NOAA’s announcement today is unacceptable. Over the years, I have consistently authored several provisions to improve the red snapper stock assessments and allowable catch limits. These actions include expanding the state boundary for catching reef fish out to nine miles, which is not subject to the federal season. In fact, the recent FY2017 government funding bill makes this boundary permanent. NOAA’s rule is a significant step backward in our progress to increase limits for private anglers in federal waters. I look forward to working with President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross to develop a system that actually serves the U.S. recreational fishing community.”
NOAA’s announcement states that beginning June 1, 2017, the Gulf of Mexico red snapper season for private anglers will be shortened from nine days to three days.