February 7, 2013 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham issued the following statement today in regard to yesterday’s failed motion by the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council’s Reef Fish Committee to move forward with regional management of red snapper in Louisiana.
“Yet again, the Gulf Council refuses to work with Louisiana toward a more flexible management of our recreational fishery. In a final effort to save the 2013 red snapper recreational season with compatible regulations, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife of Fisheries offered a common sense approach to the Gulf Council to modify the 2013 season and allow anglers more opportunities to recreationally fish for red snapper. Our attempts at a favorable outcome failed.
“We have said time and again that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will work for the entire Gulf Coast when it comes to recreational fishing, which is why we proposed state-by-state or regional management.
“The approach of the Gulf Council is outdated and stagnant. Louisiana believes that no one cares more about or can better manage our resources than our department. The unwillingness of the Gulf Council to work with us on these matters has left me, my staff and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioners no choice but to move forward with state regulations that will directly contradict those of our federal counterparts.
“In the next 30 days, my staff will work with the Commissioners to decide on a path forward that best suits Louisiana’s recreational sector. We remain open to further discussion with any and all interested parties.”
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