WASHINGTON—Today, NOAA announced the 2017 federal recreational season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Beginning June 1, 2017, the Gulf of Mexico red snapper season will be 3 days for private anglers and 49 days for the federally permitted for-hire anglers. This is a reduction for private anglers compared to last year’s 9 day season.
“NOAA says the number of red snapper is increasing. Despite this, they shortened the season,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The facts in the water should dictate policy.”
NOAA doesn’t survey for reef fish around natural or artificial reefs such as active or decommissioned oil and gas platforms. Instead, they’ve historically surveyed in open waters.
NOAA’s data collection program (Marine Recreational Information Program or MRIP) is designed to estimate catch at the regional level but is being used to estimate when catch limits have been reached in season which has resulted in imprecise estimates. State fisheries agencies in the Gulf have developed data collection surveys (EX: LA CREEL) that rely on more frequent in-season surveys.