Alexandria, Va. – June 14, 2017 – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) supports the U.S. Department of Commerce’s announcement to expand the 2017 private recreational fishing season for Gulf of Mexico red snapper.
The plan, which will provide 39 additional days of red snapper fishing in federal waters, was the result of negotiations between the Department of Commerce and the Gulf states to improve recreational access after a record low three-day federal season was implemented earlier in June. Changes would only apply to private recreational anglers – not commercial or charter fishing.
“Today’s announcement providing additional Gulf red snapper fishing days is a welcome relief for the thousands of tackle shops, marinas, equipment manufacturers and other businesses who have suffered from decreasing public access to Gulf red snapper in recent years,” said Mike Leonard, ASA’s Conservation director. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Garret Graves (R-La.) and Austin Scott (R-Ga.) along with the Gulf states’ marine fisheries agencies’ directors for working diligently to pursue this action.”
The original 2017 recreational red snapper season in Gulf federal waters was held June 1-3. The extended season will be 39 days total, consisting of three-day weekends (Friday-Sunday) from Friday, June 16 through Monday, September 4. Fishing will also be allowed on Monday and Tuesday, July 3-4 and Monday, September 4.
In exchange for these additional fishing days, red snapper harvest will not be allowed in state or federal waters on Monday through Thursday during the summer (with the exception of holidays). Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas may have additional fishing days in state waters in the fall depending on harvest estimates from the summer season.
“We appreciate this immediate action to extend the 2017 red snapper season, but recognize that there’s much more work to be done,” noted Leonard. “ASA will continue to push for long-term solutions for the federal fisheries management system as a whole, and Gulf red snapper specifically, to better achieve conservation goals and public access.”
The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry's trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America's 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation's waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America's anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation's economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.