July 14, 2014

Public Action Needed to Protect Access for Gulf of Mexico Recreational Anglers

Protect access to saltwater fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond!

The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council (Council) is currently moving ahead on a proposed amendment that will divide segments of the recreational fishing community against each other without addressing the fundamental problems with recreational red snapper management. Amendment 40, also known as “sector separation,” will divide the recreational angler’s 49% share of the snapper fishery roughly in half between private recreational anglers and charter-for-hire and head boat owners.

Federal management of Gulf red snapper is allowing only 9 recreational fishing days in 2014 for a variety of reasons, including overly rigid statutory requirements, lawsuits and political influence by commercial and environmental organizations. Rather than work to develop real solutions to the challenges facing recreational red snapper management, the Council is proposing to create further division and infighting among stakeholders by subdividing the recreational sector. The recreational fishing community has a small window of time to stop this troubling amendment from moving forward, but we must organize and act quickly.

The next two Gulf Council meetings will decide the fate of our access to the Gulf of Mexico fishery, and these meetings are the final opportunity for action. CSF and six organizations from the recreational fishing community recently voiced their support for necessary action needed to protect access for Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers. Click here to view a joint statement.

CSF and its recreational fishing partners urges you to participate in these critical public hearings.

August 25 – 29, 2014
Beau Rivage
875 Beach Blvd.
Biloxi, MS 39530

October 20 – 24, 2014
Renaissance Battle House
26 N. Royal Street
Mobile, AL 36602

CSF urges those who can attend the public hearings to speak against dividing the recreational component into two different sectors because:

• Dividing the recreational sector further by expanding the commercial model to half of the recreational sector isn’t a solution, it’s a recipe for more hardships for many charter boat owners and all private recreational anglers. The solution is not to divide the recreational community, but to collectively push for a system of management that is appropriate for the entire recreational sector.

• Despite what the commercial industry and environmental groups proclaim, recreational anglers (both private and for-hire components) have been “accountable”. We abide by the regulations and do what we are asked to do. It’s the federal system of fisheries management that has been “unaccountable” and failed the recreational community as a whole.

• This type of management philosophy, for all practical purposes, will effectively eliminate the red snapper recreational season in federal waters for the private angler. It will be nearly impossible for someone to trailer their boat to the Gulf or schedule vacation around what will likely be two or three days of snapper season.

• NOAA Fisheries has failed to provide any credible analysis of the economic impacts of this course of management.

• This isn’t just a threat for Gulf of Mexico red snapper anglers. If the red snapper recreational component in the Gulf is allowed to be divided and privatized, it will set a precedent and create a model for other popular sportfish fisheries in the Gulf and along a coast near you.

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?

View All news

Back TO All

In Season


Stay current with the latest news, policy activity and how to get involved.

Sign up for Newsletters


Donate today so we can keep fighting for tomorrow!

Donate Now