Last week, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. John Rutherford, R-Fla., announced the beginning of the Great Red Snapper Count in the South Atlantic.
Murphy and Rutherford secured $3.3 million in appropriations legislation to fund an independent 30-month study that will help better understand the true stock of red snapper in the South Atlantic.
“As an avid angler, I know fishing is a key part of the Florida way of life and few times of the year are as exciting as red snapper season,” said Murphy. “I’m proud to have worked on this successful bipartisan initiative to establish an accurate count of the red snapper population in the South Atlantic. As a kid, nothing beat fishing weekends with my dad so I’m hopeful this step will lead to a longer red snapper season for Florida families and boost economic activity in our state.”
“Recreational fishing in the South Atlantic supports thousands of jobs in Northeast Florida and contributes millions of dollars each year to our local economy,” said Rutherford. “Fishing for red snapper is an especially fun and popular pastime here on the First Coast. Unfortunately, the red snapper season in the South Atlantic is too short and does not accurately reflect the amount of fish currently in the ocean. I am hopeful that this study will bring longer seasons and more opportunities for anglers to fish for red snapper.”
The 2020 red snapper season for recreational fishing in federal waters of the South Atlantic was only four days in July. This study is expected to begin shortly and will complement the recent Gulf of Mexico Great Red Snapper Count, which discovered there are three times as many red snapper as previously estimated in the Gulf. The team in the South Atlantic will be led by Dr. William Patterson, Ph.D. of the University of Florida.