Rep. Scott: Extended Red Snapper Season Good First Step, But Long Road Ahead
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Austin Scott (GA-08), House Vice-Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC), today released the following statement upon the U.S. Department of Commerce re-opening and expanding the 2017 federal red snapper fishing season in the Gulf of Mexico from three to thirty-nine days.
“While today’s announcement is a good first step forward in opening up our nation’s federal red snapper fisheries to America’s sportsmen and women, there is still a long road ahead in deregulating this rich natural resource and leveling the playing field for the recreational angler,” said Rep. Scott. “As a life-long sportsman and CSC House Vice Chairman, I am committed to protecting sportsmen’s access to our waters and lands, and I look forward to continue working on policies that advance a sportsman’s right to responsibly hunt and fish our nation’s rich national resources.”
Today’s announcement from Commerce comes after years of hard work pressing for sportsmen’s access to one of the Gulf’s richest fisheries and would re-open the 2017 three-day season and expand it to a thirty-nine day weekend season starting Friday, June 16th and running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through Labor Day weekend, including the July 4th and Labor Day holidays. Correspondingly, the five Gulf States will bring their state red snapper water seasons into alignment with the federal water season for the rest of the summer.
In May, Rep. Scott participated in a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Interior, Energy, & Environment hearing entitled, “Examining the Management of Red Snapper Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.” During the hearing, Rep. Scott pushed for expanding the recreational season and stressed the importance of auctioning off red snapper fishing quotas, similar to the way we treat the commercialization of other natural resources, and the profits of such an auction could go towards the health and sustainability of the red snapper fishery. Click here to read more.