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Public Comments Sought on Red Snapper Season

NOAA is seeking public input on Amendment 50A-F, which would turn over regulations of red snapper season in federal waters to the five Gulf states. Deadline to submit a comment is November 1, 2019.

An experiment to let five Gulf Coast states regulate recreational fishing seasons for red snapper in federal waters might soon become the norm. NOAA Fisheries put out a call for public comments on the proposed change, which has been operational for two years.

Deadline for submissions is November 1. Comments may be submitted electronically or by mail.

Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida have been regulating red snapper fishing seasons for the past two years in response to local requests for more flexibility in management. Under NOAA, red snapper fishing seasons were getting shorter and shorter while anglers saw plenty of fish in the deep blue sea.

“The purpose of these amendments is to increase fishing opportunities and economic benefits by allowing each Gulf of Mexico state to establish specific management measures for the recreational harvest of red snapper in federal waters by anglers landing in that state,” states a public notice sent out by NOAA.

Known as Amendment 50A-F, the new regulations divide the recreational quota among the five states and outlines the procedure for allowing a state to request closure of federal waters. The amendment also includes an environmental impact statement that analyzes the effects of the entire list of changes.

For electronic submissions, go to the NOAA website and click on the “Comment Now!” bar. Complete the required field and either enter or attach your comments.

To submit by post office, mail to Lauren Waters, Southeast Regional Office, NMFS, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

The language of the amendment can be found online.

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