The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council recently voted to approve Exempted Fishing Permits (EFPs) for each of the five Gulf states, which will allow each state to manage recreational fishing for red snapper – a victory for the sportfishing industry that will benefit red snapper conservation and fishing access.
The EFPs, which cover the 2018 and 2019 fishing years, will allow recreationally caught red snapper to be landed within certain time periods determined by the respective states.
Red snapper landings would be monitored by the states, and the respective state seasons would close when a state’s quota is caught or projected to be caught.
These studies are intended to demonstrate the effectiveness of state management of recreationally caught red snapper.
Development and approval of the Gulf states’ EFPs was facilitated by language from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) in the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations bill that directed NOAA Fisheries to develop the fishery management pilot program allowing states to manage Gulf red snapper.