Gulf council nixes red snapper reallocation plan
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted Thursday to defer action on Amendment 28, which would have reallocated a portion of the red snapper fishery from commercial fishermen to the recreational sector.
Citing overwhelming opposition to the plan, the council will work instead on another proposal, Amendment 40, which will lay the groundwork for new management options for both the commercial and recreational sectors.
“We are glad to see the Gulf Council focusing on ideas that could help the recreational fishery,” said John Schmidt, a commercial fisherman from Madeira Beach, Fla., and co-chair of Share the Gulf, a coalition of Gulf residents, fishermen, chefs and seafood businesses. “Share the Gulf was built on the idea that if we manage the entire fishery well, we can share it fairly and sustainably.”
Amendment 28 would have taken nearly half a million pounds of red snapper out of the commercial seafood market next year and shift the majority of future increases to the recreational sector. Red snapper is a shared fishery and the total allowable catch is already split almost evenly between commercial and recreational fishermen.
“Reallocation will hurt Gulf seafood providers and consumers while doing nothing to help the recreational fishery,” said Buddy Guindon, a commercial fisherman from Galveston, Texas and Share the Gulf member. “We need the Council to permanently stop work on Amendment 28 and fully focus its efforts on solutions not fish grabs,” said Guindon.