Wicker Presses for Certainty on Red Snapper Season

Miss. Senator Says ‘Fishermen Are Conservationists’ & Critical to Local Economy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, R-Miss., a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, recently attended a hearing to examine the reauthorization of the “Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.”

The hearing was the third in a series focused on commercial, charter, and recreational anglers, as well as the state of the nation’s fishery laws. Mr. Phil Faulkner of Amory, Miss., testified on behalf of NauticStar Boats.

Wicker discussed the need for certainty regarding the red snapper fishing season as it relates to jobs and the economy, and the importance of the role anglers play in conservation. For years, the government has continued to reduce the days of the snapper season in federal waters, culminating in a 72-hour season in June. The Department of Commerce intervened with a temporary solution of 39 weekend days throughout the summer. No decision has been made yet on the 2018 season.

Wicker stressed that this regulatory uncertainty causes problems for job creators, undermining their ability for businesses to plan and anticipate the market.

Additional witnesses at the hearing included:

Jim Donofrio, Executive Director, Recreational Fishing Alliance
Chris Horton, Senior Director, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation
Anthony Friedrich, Saltwater Angler
Lori Steele, Executive Director, West Coast Seafood Processors Association
Peter Andrew, Board Member, Bristol Bay Native Corporation
Greg DiDomenico, Executive Director, Garden State Seafood Association
Capt. William “Bubba” Cochrane, President, Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Shareholders’ Alliance