National Fisherman


More than 2,000 red snapper were released Friday on an artificial reef south of Ship Island.

In a cooperative effort between the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Lab, the fish were spawned at USM's Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center in Ocean Springs nearly three months ago as part of a research program sponsored by MDMR.

"Red snapper is an economically important reef fish that is a popular target for anglers in the northern Gulf of Mexico," said Kelly Lucas, chief scientific officer for MDMR. "Currently red snapper is under intensive management with severe restrictions on fishing. Stock enhancement, or the release of cultured juveniles, can potentially provide an additional management tool to aid in red snapper fishery management."

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