Management of Red Snapper in Louisiana State Waters

WHEREAS, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council (Gulf Council) working on behalf of the National Marine Fisheries Service is responsible for setting the total allowable catch (TAC) for Red Snapper and other reef fish for both recreational and commercial fishing across the Gulf of Mexico; and

WHEREAS, the National Marine Fisheries Service informed the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (Commission) in May 2012 that data collected by NMFS shows red snapper stocks in the Western Gulf of Mexico, specifically areas west of the mouth of the Mississippi River, are healthier than those stocks east of the Mississippi River; and

WHEREAS, the Standing Scientific and Statistical Committee for the Gulf Council reported to the Commission in May 2012 that the red snapper population in the Northern Gulf of Mexico is larger now than at any other time recorded; and

WHEREAS, despite this information, the Gulf Council has indicated it will limit the recreational red snapper season to 27 days in 2013, the shortest red snapper season ever set; and

WHEREAS, the State of Texas has set red snapper regulations within its state water boundaries, extending nine miles from its coast, for several years; and

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has established Louisiana’s territorial water boundary at “three marine leagues,” which is approximately 10 statutory miles, for the purposes of fisheries management; and

WHEREAS, the Gulf Council’s proposal of a 27-day red snapper season is unfair to recreational fishermen in Louisiana and unduly limits access to a valuable resource for recreational and for hire charter fishing operations; and

WHEREAS, Louisiana’s fishermen should not be unduly burdened or have their access to the state’s resources limited by the actions taken by other states.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Louisiana Wildlife Federation (LWF) recommends that the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission vote to set fair and biologically-based seasons and regulations in Louisiana for the take of red snapper within the territory of three marine leagues based on the recommendations of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists.

Resolution No. 4A, 2013 – RED SNAPPER, Page 2

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that LWF urges the Commission continue to vote to set fair and biologically-based regulations regarding recreational take of red snapper within the three marine league state boundary each year until a more consistent, equitable and fair management regime is established by the Gulf Council that contemplates true regional management of the fishery and recognizes the regional nature of the red snapper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Adopted by the Louisiana Wildlife Federation in Convention Assembled, February 24, 2013 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Louisiana Wildlife Federation is a statewide conservation education and advocacy organization with more than 8,500 members and 25 affiliate groups. Established in 1940, it is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation and represents a broad constituency of conservationists including hunters, fishers, campers, birders, boaters, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Resolution #:4A, 2013
Date Proposed:02/24/2013
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