Monday, November 16, 2009


  • 1999-For-hire sector of Recreational fishery committed to limited access program in order to help rebuild the Red Snapper fishery in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • 2000-2006-Each year Red Snapper fishery was rebuilding, but for-hire industry questioned accuracy of statistics from MRFSS data collection system. The 6-month season/4 Red Snapper bag limit was implemented.

  • 2006-National Research Council’s review of MRFSS data was found fatally flawed.

  • 2006-Congress passed a law directing NMFS to improve the data collection process by January, 2009. Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) began to be developed.

  • 2007, Jan.- Reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation Act of 2007 was signed into law giving NMFS more strict mandates on rebuilding the fisheries.

  • 2007, May 2-Red Snapper was deemed over-fished and undergoing over-fishing, thus, the bag limit was reduced in Federal waters to 2 per customer, and eliminated the bag limit for captain and crew.

  • 2008-NMFS reduced the Red Snapper season in the Gulf from 196 to 65 days. State waters in Florida and Texas stayed open (for 196 days in FL and year round in TX). Federal registry stated 4-months-June 1-Sept. 30.

  • 2008-Summer season was time of energy crisis, beginning of an economic crisis, many private anglers did not fish due to the $4.00/gal gas prices.

  • 2009-Jan-NMFS imposes regulation to fine and/or revoke Fishing permits of For-hire vessels if caught keeping Red Snapper in State waters while Federal waters closed. NMFS reported the 2008 red snapper harvest was exceeded by 1 million pounds (had changed the standard pounds from 3# per RS to 4.2# per RS. Reduced the 2009 season to 75 days-June 1-August 14-if States agreed to comply with the same season dates. All complied except Texas.

  • 2009-Jan-May 31- Long fishing trips and charter boats down 70% from when excess regulation first imposed-comparing to Jan-May 31, 2006. Same trips down only 11-15% June 1 thru August 14, which is similar to community due to economic downturn. August 15- season drops again 50-70% on long trips and charters.

  • 2009-August-NMFS says Annual Catch Limits and Accountability Measures are to be implemented in January, 2010, due to mandates of Congress. But, these mandates were made with the assumption that the MRIP program was going to be in place, as mandated, by Jan. 2009.

  • 2009-October-NMFS closed Amberjack season early, with no sound science to back up the regulation.

  • 2009-October-NMFS Gulf Council added Sector Separation between For-hire and private recreational anglers to the upcoming scoping document that is to be presented for public comment in early December, 2009 for changes in the 2010 season.

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