This is a press release from the Alabama Marine Resources Division, showing that believable red snapper catch records gathered by that state amount to HALF what NOAA claims Alabama anglers landed. If you don’t know, the numbers NOAA uses consistently show that recreational anglers in the Gulf catch more than their assigned quota, and leads every year to a smaller quota and shorter fishing season.
October 19, 2015
Contact: Alabama Marine Resources, 251-861-2882
Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Again Shows Discrepancy with Federal Program
The final catch numbers for the 2015 Federal Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) again show a significant discrepancy with the numbers estimated by the State of Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Program. This is the second consecutive year that results from Alabama’s program and those of the federal MRIP program have been vastly different.
Chris Blankenship, Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, said the Alabama program, known as Snapper Check, estimated the red snapper catch for the 2015 season at 1,045,042 pounds.
NOAA Fisheries’ Federal MRIP estimated the red snapper landed in Alabama at 2,355,481 pounds.
The Alabama Snapper Check program is mandatory for anglers who return to an Alabama port. Marine Resources also uses cameras at the public boat ramps to count vessel launches to help validate its catch estimates.
For the first time, the private recreational anglers and the charter boats had separate seasons in 2015. The private recreational season was 10 days, June 1-10, while the charter season lasted 44 days, June 1-July 14.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering delegating some red snapper management authority to the states under Amendment 39 to the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council Red Snapper Management Plan. A public hearing is scheduled for the Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile at 6 p.m. Tuesday night, October 20. The Gulf Council will consider Amendment 39 (Regional Management of Red Snapper) at its next meeting, which is scheduled for January 25-29, 2016, at Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach.
“The reason Amendment 39 is important is evident in our red snapper reporting numbers,” said Blankenship. “For the second year in a row, federal landing estimates are more than twice Alabama landing estimates. Federal management uses federal landings, which we feel unfairly shortens the red snapper season by at least half. The Alabama Marine Resources Division is better able to accurately account for the red snapper landed in-state and we are better suited to manage the red snapper fishery off our coast.”
“We hope Alabama anglers and concerned citizens will come to the public hearing. Alabama currently supports Regional Management because we feel like we can do a much better job managing the red snapper fishery than is currently being done by the federal government and get our anglers more days to fish.”
For more information on the Alabama Red Snapper Reporting Program and the results please visit: http://www.outdooralabama.com/red-snapper-data-and-mandatory-reporting-faqs.