Palazzo Announces Expansion of Red Snapper Season
Washington, DC – Congressman Steven Palazzo (MS-4) today announced that the Department of Commerce has extended the 2017 private recreational Red Snapper season in federal waters after he and a small group of Gulf Coast Congressmen requested emergency relief for coast fishermen.
The expansion allows the 2017 private recreational Red Snapper season in federal waters to include Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays starting this weekend and concluding on Labor day. This also includes July 3rd and 4th. The Red Snapper season for both federal and state waters will now be 39 days beginning on June 16th.
“Our fishermen have suffered from an unfair unreasonably shrinking snapper season for the past decade, and this year’s season was almost non-existent. I’m thankful that the new administration is willing to work with us to provide this emergency relief for our fishermen.
“My colleagues and I representing the Gulf Coast have been working since the announcement of the three day season to find a solution for our fishermen. We were able to act as a liaison and connect the Department of Commerce with our states, to ensure the local voices of our fishermen were heard and their needs were being met. If a solution doesn’t help the people being affected by it, then it isn’t a solution at all.
“However, our work here is not done. Fisheries data is not being adequately managed on a federal level. I’m confident that the new leadership within the Department of Commerce and the National Marine Fisheries Service will continue to be helpful, and I look forward to working with them to find a long-term solution to this extremely important issue.”
On May 2nd of this year, NOAA announced that the federal recreational-angler red snapper season for 2017 had been reduced to three days. Palazzo’s letter is one of three sent this year to Commerce officials. The first letter was sent in March prior to the announcement of the federal season and addressed the importance of access to red snapper. The second letter was sent on May 15 following the announcement of the federal season, and it addressed the lack of accurate data on a federal level and requested that the decision be re-evaluated. The third letter that included the proposal and request for this federal extension was sent to the Department of Commerce on May 23rd.