In response to Charlie Everts’ guest column “Snapper fight about who owns the Gulf, its bounty” (The Daily News, June 30): His first statement is very telling. He says the snapper issue “pits commercial fishermen against recreational fishermen.” That’s true, but the snapper fishery is not set up that way, for this very reason.
The National Marine Fisheries Service, many, many years ago decided that, to be fair, the snapper should be divided equally between the commercials that supply Americans with fresh Gulf seafood, and boat owning recreational anglers. Simply put, the commercials have their fishery, and the recreationals have theirs. Both should mind their own business.
The National Marine Fisheries Service realized that there needed to be accountability on both sides. Since there were only about 100 commercial permits, they decided to stop issuing any more permits. Then they developed a system to manage the commercial fishery called Individual Fishing Quotas. This system tracks every commercial trip, maintains a real-time data system that counts each harvest, and gives law enforcement the ability of meeting each boat that unloads.