The US District Court in Brownsville ruled in favor of Texas and Louisiana – and fishermen – by declaring the Emergency Rule that punished both states for not following the “party line” on red snapper regulations to be illegal. Whether further court action will be required to “finish” this situation, and what the end result will be as to actual season days and catch limits has yet to be seen. The Gulf Council SSC report out last week stated that red snapper had actually been UNDER-FISHED for several years, meaning that coastal businesses and charter fishermen who suffered serious economic problems due to ever tightening regulations did so not to conserve or rebuild the resource, but as pawns in a growing political game. In reading the actual judgement, it is especially satisfying to see Roy Crabtree named as the primary defendant.

To put it the simplest terms, the court granted the summary judgement against “ROY CRABTREE, ET AL”, and denied the Cross Motion filed by the “federal defendants”, stating that it “violates existing federal law and was not properly promulgated under the procedure required by law, and. therefore lacks statutory authority”. The court ruled the Emergency Rule null and void!

THIS JUST IN! Roy Crabtree does not seem to want to admit defeat in this ruling! Here is his email to the Council about the final fishing days. Seems like he is already planning to go against the Court’s ruling? Odds are good he is still hoping to get a “punishment” against the states for “daring” to question his authority, which the Court decided he did NOT have!

From: Roy Crabtree – NOAA Federal [mailto:roy.crabtree@noaa.gov]
Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2013 1:25 PM
To: tom adams
Cc: Wiley, Nick; Charlene Ponce
Subject: Re:


The federal fishing season Gulf-wide will be the same for each state versus five separate seasons as outlined in the emergency rule. The number of fishing days has yet to be determined, but is expected to be announced within the week. Some states may have fewer days, and others may have more days, compared to the state by state federal seasons projected in the emergency rule.

The new assessment will be reviewed by the Council at the June meeting in Pensacola. The Council will begin consideration of future catch levels at that time.


About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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