RFA supports increased red snapper allocation

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The Recreational Fishing Alliance is urging saltwater anglers in the Gulf of Mexico to respond in favor of increasing red snapper allocation for the recreational fishing community.

The deadline for comment is Dec. 9.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is considering increasing the net benefits from red snapper fishing and increasing the stability of the red snapper component of the reef fish fishery, particularly in the recreational sector, which has experienced shorter and shorter seasons, the RFA said.

"This is not an allocation war. This is about helping reallocate a portion of the quota over and above the present threshold toward the recreational sector in order to help increase the opportunity for anglers to fish," RFA executive director Jim Donofio wrote in a letter to the council.

Under proposals within Amendment 28 to the fishery management plan for reef fish resources of the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Council could move forward with an allocation plan that provides as much as 100 percent of any red snapper quota that is above 9.12 million pounds to the recreational sector.

“The RFA would support adjusting the allocation percentage of any additional red snapper quota to a minimum of 90 percent for the recreational sector and 10 percent for the commercial sector until a point at which fisheries managers determine that anglers can return to the original 195-day fishing season and four-fish bag limit," Donofrio said in the letter.

"This limited adjustment to dealing with additional quota above the 9.12-million-pound [mark] is truly the fair approach in that it provides both sectors with a return to sensible harvest numbers previously enjoyed by both sectors at the start of the red snapper rebuilding period," he added.

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