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Red snapper letter 4/16/2013

Red snapper letter 4/16/2013

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Published by George Talbot
Letter from the Gulf State governors to Congress regarding management of red snapper fisheries
Letter from the Gulf State governors to Congress regarding management of red snapper fisheries

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Published by: George Talbot on Apr 18, 2013
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04/18/2013

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April 16, 2013 The Honorable Harry ReidMajority Leader522 Hart Senate Office BuildingUnited States SenateWashington, DC 20510 The Honorable John A. BoehnerSpeakerUnited States House of Representatives1011 Longworth House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515 The Honorable Mitch McConnellMinority LeaderUnited States Senate317 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510 The Honorable Nancy PelosiMinority LeaderUnited States House of Representatives235 Cannon House Office BuildingWashington, DC 20515Dear Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, Leader McConnell, and Leader Pelosi: The Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery has a historic and significant economic benefit tothe Gulf states and the nation. However, federal management conflicts impacting boththe commercial and recreational sectors have created a situation that is negativelyimpacting the coastal economies and citizens of our states.In 2013, NOAA Fisheries has declared that recreational anglers in Texas will have a 12-day snapper season in federal waters, nine days in Louisiana, 28 days in Mississippi andAlabama, and 21 days in Florida. With a stock that is recovering steadily, our recreationalanglers are being allowed to fish less and less, and there is no hint of willingness fromNOAA Fisheries to deviate from this present, unsatisfactory course. As governors of Gulstates, we believe this confusing management is just the latest evidence of a federalmanagement system that is irretrievably broken.We seek to establish a better fishery management approach for Gulf red snapper based oneffective interstate management measures coordinated by the Gulf States MarineFisheries Commission (GSMFC). Modeled after the Atlantic Striped Bass ConservationAct, we believe a coordinated Gulf states partnership for red snapper management wouldbe more capable of delivering a robust fishery that is more accessible for the citizens of 
 
April 16, 2013Page 2our states. State-based fishery management has proven to be far more effective, and hasengineered some of the greatest marine conservation victories in the country, includingred drum, speckled trout, snook and striped bass. It is in the national interest toimplement procedures and measures to provide for effective inter-jurisdictional Gulf coastal state conservation and management of this species.After more than three decades under federal management, the red snapper fisheryremains mired in confusion and turmoil. We are determined to find a constructive path toresolve this unsatisfactory situation, and seek your support of legislation to allow thestates to take greater responsibilities in the management of fishery resources.Sincerely,Governor Bobby Jindal Governor Rick PerryState of Louisiana State of TexasGovernor Rick Scott Governor Phil BryantState of Florida State of Mississippi

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