What’s to Become of Red Snapper in the Gulf Waters?

Thirty-nine days. That’s how long the red snapper fishing season was extended … which, if you don’t know much about fishing seasons might not sound like a lot. BUT. The season was supposed to be three days. Yea, three!

Why the extension, and why should you care?
The U.S. Department of Commerce, along with the five gulf states, decided to extend the private angler red snapper fishing season to last a full 42 days because “the economic benefit is greater than the harm to the species.”

Two environmental groups—the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund—have filed suit claiming the administration knew the extension would lead to substantial overfishing and that the decision to extend the season violated several laws by disregarding scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and the failure to follow procedures.

“Back room deal on red snapper is bad for fishing and fishery recovery.” —Charter Fisherman’s Association and Environmental Defense Fund


“It (extending the season) would result in overfishing of the stock by six million pounds (40%), which will draw criticism from environmental groups and commercial fishermen,” Director of Policy and Strategic Planning for Commerce Earl Comstock, said in a memo intended for his boss, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.

The memo also says that the National Marine Fisheries Service “agrees that this stock could handle this level on a temporary basis.”

In accordance with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, most snapper caught in Hawaii, the U.S. Southeast Atlantic and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative.” So enjoy your snapper this year, but keep an eye out for potential changes to the recommendations should the species not recover as fast as the NMFS suggests.


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Featured photo by Geeklikepi [CC BY-SA 3.0 creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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Hey there. I’m Shauna—a West Coast transplant in the landlocked state of Indiana … when I moved here I missed the beaches, the mountains, the desert, the rivers … and it took me a while to find places nearby that paralleled my old stomping grounds. BUT. Now that I’ve lived here for over 15 years, I’ve had time to explore the region and you know what? It’s amazing. There’s so much to do—from skiing in northern Michigan to relaxing lakeside in southern Kentucky to rocking the nightlife in one of the many metropolitan areas. And I love it here. I really do. BUT. I do miss the sea … and the sand and the rush of the waves … the smell of seawater … even the sting of too much sun after a day spent lollygagging at the beach. And I miss the constant supply of seafood and shellfish and riverfish? About that … since I’ve moved to the Midwest I’ve noticed that a lot of people here don’t consider fish that come from the river seafood … I’m not sure I agree, but hence the new word I’ve created, “riverfish” … time will tell if Webster picks it up ; ) So my blog, Seafood is The New Black, is my way of bringing a little bit of sea life (or is it sealife?) to the Midwest. And over on Seafood in the Circle City, you can read up on my favorite Indianapolis restaurants that serve seafood, and serve it well. As you read along, you’ll find all kinds of information … some that you might find more useful than others—and some, you might just find amusing … or not. Either way, and if nothing else, I hope you leave my little space here on the world wide web a little refreshed and maybe even a little inspired to bring a little bit of the ocean home with you. (Yes, I did use the word “little” four times in one sentence … it’s OK … mermaids like to repeat themselves.) Cheers! The Midwest Mermaid Oh, and if your curious, yes, I do actually write for a living … if you want to know about the organizations I work with and the publications where you can find my land legs, swim on over to the “Portfolio” tab … and thanks for visiting.

4 thoughts on “What’s to Become of Red Snapper in the Gulf Waters?

    1. Yes, they do. And its an issue that’s often overlooked. I know of recreational fishing boats that have, I. The past, dumped their trash while at sea thinking one vessel’s trash doesn’t matter. It’s crazy. But it’s the little things that all add up. Excellent point!!


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