OOOOHHH CHESTER - explain please - again
You guys get dug in so deep at the Council level your screwed if the states take over and won't have any power????????
Alabama's Bentley wants feds completely out of Gulf red snapper management
Print By Jeff Dute | [email protected]
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on April 18, 2013 at 11:52 AM, updated April 18, 2013 at 11:55 AM
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley did not join governors from the four other Gulf states in signing a letter in support of state management of red snapper “because it advocates a management system that allows the federal government to retain too much control over state fisheries.”
In a statement from Bentley’s Press Secretary emailed Thursday morning, Jennifer Ardis writes that “Governor Bentley strongly believes that red snapper management should be controlled at the state level rather than the federal level.”
“Each state has unique marine environments that affect fishery management, and Alabama should not have to get approval from the federal government to make decisions about snapper fishing off the Alabama coast.”
Ardis further states that Bentley supports Congressman (Jo) Bonner's proposed Gulf Fisheries Fairness Act and “appreciates his leadership to protect Alabama’s right to control red snapper fishing.”
Bonner’s bill would give states complete jurisdiction over reef-fish management along their state boundaries out to 20 fathoms or 120 feet. States would set their own catch and bag limits and season lengths much as they have for decades within state waters to manage species such as speckled trout and redfish.
In their letter dated April 17, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Rick Perry of Texas, Rick Scott of Florida and Phil Bryant of Mississippi said that establishing state-based management provides a pragmatic approach to regional management of this important resource.
They suggest such an approach could be modeled after what they classify as “the highly successful” Atlantic Striped Bass Conservation Act on the East Coast, and would establish a coordinated Gulf states partnership for red snapper management.
In this model, the states jointly manage the fishery through the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission out to 200 miles. The states decide every aspect of how they prosecute that fishery, down to even doing the assessment work, as they do for striped bass on the east coast.
The Secretary of Commerce is used in that model as a last-resort enforcement mechanism in case a state goes rogue and abandons the fishery management plan and starts overfishing.
The secretary would have to be invited to do so by the other states and has the authority to shut down the offending state's fishery if deemed necessary.
The governors’ letter points out that, “State-based fishery management has proven to be far more effective, and has engineered some of the greatest marine conservation victories in the country, including red drum, speckled trout, snook and striped bass. It is in the national interest to implement procedures and measures to provide for effective inter-jurisdictional Gulf coastal state conservation and management of this species.”
The Coastal Conservation Association’s national office issued a news release in support of all efforts to give states more responsibility over management of reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Shifting responsibility for management of Gulf red snapper from the federal government to the states is a significant undertaking, and while we all know that’s what we want to do, there is no clear path to get there, said CCA National Conservation Director Ted Venker. “I think we are all of like mind, and CCA is interested in working with everyone to find the best solution to fix red snapper management."