Red Snapper Season Extended in State Waters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    CONTACT: Vernon Minton
July 7, 2008                                                                                                                            251-968-7576
 
 
Governor Bob Riley has extended red snapper season within Alabama’s jurisdictional waters through October 31, 2008.
 
After discussion with Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley, Riley cited the inconsistency of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to force compliance with the federal regulations regarding red snapper in Florida and Texas. Texas has a year-round season for its states waters with a four-fish bag limit with a minimum length of 15 inches, while Florida has an April 15 through Oct. 31, 2008 season with a two-fish bag limit with a minimum length of 16 inches.
 
Current federal regulations governing red snapper fishing set a season of June 1 through Aug. 5, 2008 with a bag limit of two per person with a minimum length of 16 inches. Captain and crew may not possess any red snapper.
 
“Alabama understands and supports the federal government’s policies on managing marine resources,” said Governor Riley. “However, we cannot stand by and allow Alabama's fishermen to be penalized without NOAA addressing the lack of support by other states."  
 
Commissioner Lawley said that federal regulations have little effect on states like Florida and Texas with nine nautical miles of state waters off shore. Alabama, with its three nautical miles, is significantly affected.
 
“Those states can continue to harvest red snapper while our charter captains struggle with the burden of 56 fewer days of fishing,” Lawley said. “This economic burden is multiplied in communities like Orange Beach and Dauphin Island where offshore fishing is a driving force in their economies.”
 
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
                                                           
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