NOAA Fisheries cuts two days off red snapper season

snapper3GULF OF MEXICO — Federal fisheries officials have cut this year’s recreational red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico from 11 days to nine days, starting June 1.

NOAA Fisheries spokeswoman Kim Amendola says the change was needed because Louisiana opened state waters year-round after the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council cut the snapper quota in April.

The management council acted after a U.S. District Court judge in Washington, D.C., ruled that federal regulators had been mismanaging the recreational catch for years.

The change won’t affect commercial catches. Commercial boats have stayed within their quota, while recreational anglers have gone over quota for years.

Charter captains and Louisiana regulators say the council and NOAA Fisheries use bad data.

The agency is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 

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