In January 2017, leading recreational fishing organizations released a report that identifies possible management options for the Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper fishery. How to best manage this important recreational fishery has come under increasing scrutiny, and controversy, resulting in growing angler frustration.
The report, Examination of Possible Private Recreational Management Options for Gulf of Mexico Red Snapper, is intended to provide fisheries managers with detailed information about alternative options for managing the fishery that may produce improved fishing access.
The report was produced by the Gulf Angler Focus Group initiative, which was created and supported by the American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
The purpose of the Gulf Angler Focus Group was to develop a compendium of management options that could help ensure a healthy red snapper stock while providing equitable and reasonable public access working within the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and existing statute.
During 2016, the Gulf Angler Focus Group met with representatives from angler organizations, unaffiliated private anglers, for-hire operators and recreational fishing industry members, in consultation with all five state fisheries managers from the Gulf region.
Meetings were held every other month throughout 2016 with the assistance of the FCRC Consensus Center at Florida State University, which facilitated and documented the meetings.
Below are the documents produced by the focus group initiative: