In a preview of how they will work together in Congress, Rep. Ron DeSantis and John Rutherford (running in Florida’s 4th Congressional District) issued a joint statement calling for a 2017 red snapper season in the Atlantic Ocean.
While fishermen have the latitude to fish for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico Friday through Sunday in September and October, an Atlantic coast ban on snapper fishing was instituted in 2010 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in response to concerns about snapper population depletion.
This year, the ban continues, because of what happened last year.
NOAA asserts that “the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2015 exceeded the allowable level [of] … 114,000 fish. After evaluating landings and discard information for 2015, NOAA Fisheries has determined the estimates of total removals were 276,729 fish.”
NOAA’s concerns about population depletion notwithstanding, the congressman and the likely congressmen see a need for a season for economic recovery purposes, as well as to avoid “government overreach.”
“Our coastal communities up and down the east coast are just now beginning the long road of recovery after Hurricane Matthew,” said Rep. DeSantis. “A 2017 red snapper season would go far in bringing an influx of tourist dollars to help fuel our recovery.”
“The red snapper ban is government overreach at its finest,” said Rutherford. “I look forward to working with Congressman DeSantis and the entire Florida congressional delegation to restore balance with our fisheries management and end this destructive ban.”