Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4)applauded the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) announcement of the final rule to implement a program that allows Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida the authority to increase state management over red snapper recreational fishing by private anglers in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
Beginning several years ago, Palazzo started working closely with the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (MDMR), NOAA, and members of Congress to move forward on shifting management responsibilities of red snapper to state agencies. In 2018 and 2019, Mississippi and the rest of the Gulf States were approved for Exempted Fishing Permits (EFP) which allowed them to report accurate harvest data to NOAA as a test run for state management over red snapper. This two-year trial run played a major role in clarifying the need for the final rule.
“This final rule is the accumulation of years of work by so many on the Gulf Coast. Mississippi will have more control over our fishing resources. We have fished these waters for centuries and know the Mississippi Sound better than anyone. The data previously used by NOAA nearly eliminated snapper season in our state. MDMR has done a great job managing our red snapper landings and I know they will continue being effective managers for the state,” said Palazzo.
“Amendment 50 gives Mississippi the ability to manage Red Snapper for the private recreational stakeholders,” said Joe Spraggins, Executive Director for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources. “Our Tails n’ Scales program accurately records landings in real time, which will maximize access to the resource while ensuring sustainability. With Mississippi managing our state’s Red Snapper season, we are able to give anglers the greatest number of days for the season.”
Congressman Steven Palazzo Press Release