Federal Government Overestimating Red Snapper Numbers

Feb 19, 2017

Alabama wildlife officials say the federal government is still overestimating the amount of red snapper caught in the Gulf of Mexico.  

A new report from the Alabama Marine Resources Division says a mandatory state reporting program estimates the state's charter boats and private recreational anglers caught about 1.5 million pounds of snapper last year.

That number compares to a federal survey program that estimates more than 2.7 million pounds of red snapper were landed in Alabama.

The difference is important because Gulf Coast states and the federal government disagree sharply over fishing limits for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

States are pushing for looser limits that would let fishing boats catch more snapper. Federal officials say tighter limits are needed to protect the fish population in the Gulf.