Politicians Bill Sargent and Randy Weber are at odds over the management of the red snapper fishery.

The Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery is managed by the National Marine Fishery Service.

The Magnuson Act has been successful in rebuilding the snapper fishery with the Gulf-wide quota nearly tripling in the last 10 years.

All Americans are entitled to enjoy catching red snapper, to purchase their fair share at local fish markets, enjoy snapper dishes at their favorite restaurant anywhere in the world, or travel to the coast and hire a charter boat to take them fishing.

The snapper fishery is currently split fairly and equally between the commercial and recreational sectors.

The problem is, the recreational snapper fishery has no mandatory reporting system, thus exceeding its quota in 23 of the last 27 years, resulting in short seasons.

Politicians, fishing clubs and private recreational boat owners are backing a plan to turn over federal snapper management to the Gulf States, claiming they have a “proven track record of managing fish.”

That may be a true, but those fish are state-water fish, not fish swimming in federal waters 50 miles offshore. Managing trout and flounder is not the same as deep sea species like snapper, cobia and wahoo.

Speaking of states managing snapper, right now, and for years, the state of Texas has refused the NMFS request to comply with federal closures of snapper fishing, adding to the short seasons there are now.

The Texas state waters out to 9 miles are open year round, every day, 365 days a year, with twice the daily bag limit of four snapper instead of the federal two per day per person.

The private boat owners and politicians don’t even want federally permitted charter boats taking non-boat owners snapper fishing.

The politicians and the members-only clubs are backing only the boat owning fishermen. They don’t realize that the people that get their fair share of red snapper at fish markets and restaurants are voters too.

The commercial snapper fishery is a sustainable-based system. The federally permitted commercial boats are closely monitored via satellite. There is a mandatory reporting system allowing law enforcement total access to all catches. The commercial side of the Total Allowable Catch is 100 percent accountable. Every fish is weighed and subtracted from the commercial allocation.

Commercial fishermen are against state management because, as the proposal is written now, state management would include the federal recreational charter and commercial sectors.

Obviously, the goal is to shut down the charter and commercial fishery.

They think that shutting down the charter industry and the commercial fishery will add fish to the recreational sector. And it would. But, doing simple math, it would add only a few days.

Bill Sargent wants to use state control to shut down the charter and commercial fishing industry.

Randy Weber doesn’t want to hurt commercial fishermen in order to help recreational fishermen. He wants a fair fishery, with a sustainable and accountable system for all.

Bill Cochrane Sr. lives in Galveston.


(5) comments

Pete Nanos

Randy Weber will not take a stand on anything of substance. Ask him how he comes down regarding illegal immigration. He's a political coward who goes with the flow to get re elected.

Bill Cochrane

Mr Nanos, I agree with you on several things you post about various subjects, but you obviously, since you resort to childish name-calling you don't know how to google.
Here you are -
Weber Statement on Immigration Bills -
Washington, DC, June 29, 2017 | 0 comments
WASHINGTON D.C. – H.R. 3003, No Sanctuary for Criminals Act, and H.R. 3004, Kate’s Law, passed the House by votes of 228 to 195 and 257 to 167, respectively. This legislation mandates enforcement of laws already on the books, enhances penalties for deported felons who return, and reiterates the importance of public safety. Representative Randy Weber (R – Friendswood) released the following statement after the passage of these bills:
“Our citizens are dying, because we are not enforcing our laws. Today, the House of Representatives acted to change this. These two bills are rooted in common sense, and focus on criminal actions. The No Sanctuary for Criminals Act clarifies and upholds Immigration and Customs Enforcement authority, withholds certain federal grants if federal law is violated within a jurisdiction, and ensures repeat offenders are detained during their removal proceedings. Kate’s Law establishes that deported felons who return to the U.S. see enhanced penalties upon returning illegally.

Convicted illegal aliens have no business being on our streets. I am happy to support these bills, and encourage my colleagues in the Senate to quickly take these bipartisan measures under consideration.

Pete Nanos

That's nice. What about the rest of the illegals in the country? Where does he stand on the wall and expanded federal authority? He stood in a meeting and did the tango when confronted with these issues. He never would commit, but thanks for the lesson in "googling".

Bill Cochrane

Pete, Pete, Pete. It appears you simply don't like Weber just like liberal Dumbacrats don't like President Trump. I get that. Apparently, you would not be satisfied even if Weber went to the border and stood guard himself. What I don't get is why you are so closed minded you don't dare use the www to get answers.
From google - U.S. Rep. Randy Weber has introduced legislation that would require the government to hire more border patrol agents and build "fencing" along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Weber, a Republican who's running for re-election, said Monday in a prepared statement that his bill would "effectively halt the flow of illegal aliens and combat the domestic criminality associated with our current lack of border security."

The Protect our Southwestern States Enforcement Act, or "POSSE Act," would direct the chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection to hire more border patrol agents and officers and order construction of double-layer fencing along all 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.

Pete Nanos

I'll believe it when I see it. Maybe some competition was enough to get him off his cushy seat.

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