(DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala.) - Alabama anglers and businesses were already frustrated with last year’s 40-day red snapper season, which was the shortest on record.
Now the season could be cut even shorter to just 27 days in 2013.
“The fishermen are frustrated, and so are we,” Chris Blankenship, Alabama’s Director of Marine Resources told Local 15.
Even though the red snapper population is reportedly booming, the federal government hasn’t budgeted on the quota or extending the season for one of the coast’s most popular catches. Instead, the season keeps getting cut shorter.
“It’s like a downward spiral,” Blankenship said, “It’s frustrating to have the fish, but you can’t catch them.”
Blankenship is worried what the shorter and shorter seasons could mean for local fishermen, charter boat captains and businesses.
“Tourism and fishing along [Alabama’s] coastal communities is vitally important,” Blankenship said, “The number of days they can fish for red snapper really hurts the bottom line.”
Blankenship said the 27-day season was projected at a meeting last week in Tampa, and it could still be cut even shorter by a couple of days.
Blankenship said frustration has reached a boiling point and renewed support for regional management of fishing.
A public meeting with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is set for Wednesday night at 6 o’clock, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Orange Beach. There will be a public comment session.