Red Snapper 2009 - The Umpire Is Still Undefeated

As the sports announcer says when a baseball coach argues with the umpire, "When it is all said and done, the umpire will still be undefeated." It might seem strange to compare baseball with Red Snapper but it just fits and here is how. The coach is the recreational anglers and the umpire is the GMFMC (Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council). Last year a couple of states tried to buck the system (Florida and Texas) and voice there displeasure with the extremely limited Red Snapper season by keep their state Red Snapper season open far longer than the Fed wanted them too. And this year everyone is having to pay for their insolence with an even shorter season this year.

A bit of history. Florida and Texas state waters farther out from shore whereas most states along the gulf coast have state waters that extend out only 3 miles. Red Snapper live in fairly deep water not normally within 3 miles of shore. So snapper season historically matches the season in federal waters in many states for easier enforcement.

The GMFMC is charged with managing Red Snapper in the Gulf of Mexico and have allocated recreational fishery a certain quota, measured in millions of pounds. Exceed that quota by an appreciable amount and it must be repaid next year.

So that is where we are today. Faced with repaying for Florida and Texas's subordinance last year. So the season this year has been shortened and will close August 15, 12:01 AM.

This shortened season really hurts charter boat captains and pressure from them has resulted in Florida shortening its season this year to avoid having and even shorter season than we already have. If they hadn't the season would have been shortened even further to August 2nd, in a preemptive strike to keep the quota from being exceeded again.

The Call Stands!

By Mike Guerin

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