The Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus recently submitted a letter to Governors Sportsmen’s Caucus member Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi expressing support for the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority (GSRSMA).
The GSRSMA is a recent agreement between the five Gulf State Marine Fishery Directors for state-based management of Gulf of Mexico red snapper that is currently under federal management by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, under the National Marine Fisheries Service. Lauded by various recreational angling groups, the agreement would give each state authority to manage red snapper out to 200 miles off its coastline. Each state would also be responsible for developing and implementing a red snapper management plan for its waters, which would be approved by the rest of the states.
Signed by House Co-Chair Representative Scott Bounds, Senate Co-Chairs Senators Angela Hill and Russell Jolly, and National Assembly of Sportsmen’s Caucuses Executive Council Member Representative Herb Frierson, the letter states: “It is our firm belief that state management of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico is the best path forward for balanced management of this public resource…As you know, Mississippi’s 260,000 recreational anglers faced the shortest red snapper season in history in federal waters last year, despite the healthiest population of red snapper on record. The short season hit Mississippians especially hard, because unlike other Gulf States, our anglers can only find red snapper in federal waters. To continue denying access for our anglers to an abundant snapper population due to inept federal management is simply unacceptable.”
Established in 2006, the Mississippi Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus is the largest bipartisan and bicameral caucus in the Mississippi Legislature. The Caucus represent a group of committed state legislators dedicated to protecting and advancing the outdoor traditions of hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping in Mississippi.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?