Red Snapper Act Introduced To Prevent Closure Of Fishing Areas In Northeast Florida – Action News Jax

WASHINGTON DC — On Thursday, December 1, Florida Congressman John Rutherford, Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, and 14 of their colleagues introduced HR 9373, the Red Snapper Act.

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This bipartisan legislation seeks to prevent the closure of areas in the South Atlantic until the study of the Great South Atlantic Red Snapper is complete.

It was in August that Action News Jax’s John Bachman spoke with Rutherford about preventing NOAA from shutting down the red snapper season in 2023.

Related story: Rep. John Rutherford wants NOAA to ‘stop’ the potential shutdown of the red snapper season next year

Earlier this year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proposed closures for all bottom fishing in the South Atlantic. This was an effort to decrease the catch of red snapper outside of the existing two-day recreational period.

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The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council ultimately rejected this proposal.

“For too long, Florida anglers have been forced to put up with bad science and short red snapper seasons,” said Rep. Rutherford. “Our bipartisan Red Snapper Act will stop NOAA from shutting down fisheries and force them to use better data. Florida anglers deserve reliable access to the red snapper fish now and for years to come.”

According to a Rutherford press release, recreational fishing in Florida generated an economic output of $9.2 billion and created 88,501 jobs in 2020.

The South Atlantic red snapper count was approved by Congress and appropriated $5.1 million over a three-year period. The belief is that this study will produce reliable data on red snapper populations and the general health of the species in South Atlantic waters.

Read: Wildlife Officials Approve Manatee Protections

Until this study is complete, the Red Snapper Act is intended to provide anglers with more opportunities to fish for the species without seasonal closures.

In a statement, Rep. Stephanie Murphy said:

“Fishing is not only a key part of the Florida way of life, but it is also essential to the survival of our coastal economies and small businesses that depend on robust fishing seasons.. He was proud to lead the Great Red Snapper Count, along with Congressman Rutherford, to get a more accurate picture of the number of fish in the South Atlantic, but NOAA’s proposed closures could threaten access to bottom fishing sooner. for the study to be completed. With this new legislation, we are stepping back to ensure our fisheries are not closed and that NOAA uses the best available data going forward.”

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You can read the full bill below.



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