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Vitter: Red Snapper Decision Delay Shows Gulf Council May be Trying to Pick Winners, Losers
Concerned that current members aren’t supplying the leadership necessary to represent all stakeholders, highlighting why states have no confidence
June 27, 2014

U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding yesterday's decision by the Gulf of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) to postpone consideration of Amendment 28, which would update the red snapper allocations for the first time in over 20 years.

"By delaying consideration of Amendment 28 - yet again - the Gulf Council has shown they're not appropriately representing all stakeholders - particularly recreational fishermen. This has become abundantly clear now that Mississippi and Alabama have joined Louisiana, Texas, and Florida in non-compliance by extending the length of each state's red snapper season," said Vitter. "All five Gulf states have clearly lost confidence in the RFMC and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There is an apparent need for more transparency, and it is time to get to the bottom of who is really influencing decisions and how."

The RFMC's decision to defer further action on Amendment 28 goes against the recommendation of its own Socioeconomic Science and Statistical Committee (SESSC), which found changing the allocation in favor of the recreational sector would bring additional revenue into each of the Gulf states.

Earlier this week, Vitter introduced two amendments to S. 2363, the Sportsmen's Act of 2014. Vitter's first amendment would bring transparency to closed meetings of the RFMCs, including new requirements for detailed minutes and transcripts. Vitter's second amendment grants States management authority of the red snapper fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Recently, Vitter penned an op-ed in the Houma Courier regarding the outdated red snapper fishery allocations in the Gulf of Mexico. Click here to read more.

Vitter originally requested Amendment 28, a proposal of six options for updating allocations levels of allowable catch of red snapper beyond the historical high level of 9.12 million pounds, be added to the RFMC agenda for appropriate consideration during the nomination of Dr. Kathryn Sullivan to be the Undersecretary for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Click here to read more.

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June 2014 Press Releases

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