A letter written late last month by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates  that if red snapper are ultimately removed from federal oversight to be managed by the five Gulf states, much of the data currently collected on the species by NOAA — including stock assessments — would not be shared with the states.

The letter dated Sept. 22 from Eileen Sobeck to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon contradicts what Rep. Garret Graves — the author of H.R. 3094 that would strip red snapper from federal oversight and award it to the Gulf States Red Snapper Management Authority — has said about how potential costs associated with stock assessments and data collection for snapper will be covered if his legislation becomes law.

Requests for telephone interviews to discuss details of the NOAA letter with Melancon were denied.

But Graves said the letter is just another in a long list of allegations brought by the LDWF in an attempt to derail the bill.

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