40-Day Recreational Red Snapper Season Starts this Month

Get ready for red snapper season! The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will implement a 40-day red snapper season in state and federal waters off the Gulf coast of Florida beginning June 11, 2018. Since the federal season in Florida has dwindled annually, from a year-round fishery to a proposed three-day season last year, the red snapper stock continues to grow. The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Florida, the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, sees a great advantage of having the State fully manage reef fish.

“The Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) opens up a great opportunity for recreational anglers and Florida’s tourism,” says Teresa Donaldson, the CCA’s communications director. “The 40-day season will allow Florida anglers access to this robust fishery which, up until last year, was contained to very minimal days by The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The EFP has given more flexibility to State Managers to highlight their ability to manage the fish off their coast. CCA is in favor of a State Managed system without the NMFS dictating the total allowable catch.” www.ccaflorida.org

Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.