In response to Bill Sargent’s guest column (“Red snapper: Here’s the bottom line,” The Daily News, Nov. 1): I am amazed that after all the research he has done on the recreational snapper issue, Sargent thinks that the commercial snapper fishery has anything to do with the short recreational snapper seasons?
The recreational snapper fishery and the commercial snapper fishery are two distinctly different fisheries.
The commercial federal snapper fishery is controlled and enforced under an Individual Fishing Quota program. This system mandates 100 percent accountability and real-time data. There is a “royalty” or “tax” of 3 percent of each IFQ shareholders gross catch. Of course, there’s always that other federal tax on income. The size limit on snapper has been reduced to only 13 inches to drastically reduce throw backs.
The recreational fishery for federal snapper, on the other hand, needs an accountable, sustainable system, that can produce real-time data.
Why do national recreational groups think that hurting the commercial sector, or using conservation-based quotas is a bad idea, while claiming to be conservation based?
But for some reason, the recreational problem always turns into a recreational versus commercial thing. Why?
Could the gulf states manage snapper in federal waters better that the feds? Think about that. Even when there was a very real snapper shortage years ago, the State of Texas allowed their state waters to remain open 365-days a year with twice the federal limit, allowing four snappers per day, and still refuse to close state waters when the federal waters are closed. Is that really considered a good track record?
Part of the state plan is for the states to manage the commercial sector too. Again. Why? What does the commercial sector have to do with the short recreational season?