Federal fisheries managers have boosted the amount of red snapper by weight we're allowed to take from the Gulf of Mexico this year by 380,000 pounds.
That translates to an increase for recreational anglers of 186,000 pounds compared with the 2012 allocation.
Nobody is cheering, though I expect commercial snapper fisherman are mildly encouraged by the news. They're getting 194,000 pounds more than they did last year.
As I've said before, each annual increase in the snapper allocation is a sign the population is rebuilding and no longer being overfished. And yet you wouldn't know it by the proposed season lengths.
The feds might liken our ever-shrinking seasons to a doctor's orders to continue taking antibiotics long after our symptoms have gone away.
The difference is we trust our doctor.
This year's federal prescription calls for a 12-day Texas season, a nine-day Louisiana season, a 21-day Florida season and a 28-day season for Alabama and Mississippi.
The federal snapper season begins June 1 in all five states. The closing dates for each will be officially announced in May. But don't expect much to change. If you'd like to comment on the 2013 snapper allocation, I'll provide instructions later in this column.
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National Fisherman Live: 1/27/15
In this episode:
Assessment: Atlantic menhaden is not overfished
Bering Sea pollock fishery casts off
Dock to Dish opens Florida’s first CSF
Second wave of disaster funds for Alaska
Fisherman lands N.C.’s largest bluefin ever
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is still seeking public review and comment on the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management Conformance Criteria (Version 1.2, September 2011). The public review and comment period, which opened on Dec. 3, 2014, runs through Monday, Feb. 3.
NOAA, in consultation with the Department of the Interior, has appointed 10 new members to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. The 20-member committee is composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience who advise the departments of commerce and the interior on ways to strengthen and connect the nation's MPA programs. The new members join the 10 continuing members appointed in 2012.