DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — New rules for catching prized red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico have anglers at odds with one another across the region.
Federal officials recently announced that for-hire charter boats will be able to catch snapper for 44 days when the season opens June 1. But recreational anglers are limited to a 10-day season this year.
The decision is based on a complicated formula. And though charter captains are happier than in years past, recreational anglers are crying foul.
The Coastal Conservation Association has filed suit to block the system on behalf of recreational anglers, but a judge has yet to rule.
The regional fisheries administrator for NOAA, Roy Crabtree, says no one is happy. He says the agency is trying to balance factors including protection of the fish population and a patchwork of state rules.