ASA welcomes groundbreaking $3.3m study into South Atlantic red snapper
The body that represents the recreational fishing tackle industry in the US has welcomed a groundbreaking $3.3m study to assess the South Atlantic red snapper fishery.
Modelled on the ‘Great Red Snapper Count’ in the Gulf of Mexico, the 30-month project will estimate the number of red snapper over a wide-ranging area, including habitats that are not currently targeted by traditional fisheries surveys.
Kellie Ralston, Southeast Fisheries Director of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), said: “Improving our understanding of the South Atlantic red snapper will lead to better management of this iconic species, which was limited to a four-day season last year for recreational anglers. We appreciate the efforts of US representatives John Rutherford and Stephanie Murphy who, recognising the economic and cultural importance of the fishery in the region, secured this critical funding to improve the science used to make management decisions and increase angler access to healthy fisheries in the future.”
“Recreational fishing in the South Atlantic supports thousands of jobs in Northeast Florida and contributes millions of dollars each year to our local economy,” said Rutherford. “Fishing for red snapper is an especially fun and popular pastime here on the First Coast. Unfortunately, the red snapper season in the South Atlantic is too short and does not accurately reflect the abundance of fish currently in the ocean. I am hopeful that this study will bring longer seasons and more opportunities for anglers to fish for red snapper.”
“As an avid angler, I know fishing is a key part of the Florida way of life and few times of the year are as exciting as red snapper season,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to have worked on this successful bipartisan initiative to establish an accurate count of the red snapper population in the South Atlantic. As a kid nothing beat fishing weekends with my dad so I’m hopeful this step will lead to a longer red snapper season for Florida families and boost economic activity in our state.”