Gulf State Managers Propose Controversial Plan For State Management Of Red Snapper Fishery

Marine Resource Agency Directors from all five Gulf States recently held a closed meeting in New Orleans to craft a management framework removing the red snapper fishery from the control of the federal government and placing the fishery directly under state control.

Robin Riechers, Director of Coastal Fisheries for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; Jamie Miller,Executive Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources; Jessica McCawley, Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries Management for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; Randy Pausina, the Assistant Secretary for the  Office of Fisheries Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; and Chris Blankenship, the Director of Marine Resources Division for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, decided on the formation of a new regional management authority for Red Snapper without input from Gulf Red Snapper charter-for-hire or commercial sectors.

According to Randy Pausina of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the new Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA) plan removes red snapper from the federal government completely – commercially and recreationally. It also removes the popular fish from the federal Fisheries Management Plan and from the Gulf Council’s authority.

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