Red Snapper Population Sees Increase in Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS, Dec. 27 (UPI) — The red snapper population in the Gulf of Mexico appears to have rebounded thanks to the efforts of U.S. government regulators, scientific data suggests.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune said Sunday a new scientific assessment of the fish species’ population numbers in the gulf indicate the red snapper population is growing although overfishing still remains a point of concern.

Roy Crabtree, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s southeast regional administrator, praised the apparent reversal of the lengthy trend of major overfishing threatening the red snapper population.

“We’ve been trying to end the overfishing of red snapper for over 20 years, and this is the first time we’ve been able to do it,” Crabtree said. “I think a lot of fishermen have endured a lot of pain over the last few years, so hopefully things start to change for the better.”

The reversal of fortune for the species’ population comes after the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council set the red snapper quota to 5 million pounds in 2008.

The Times-Picayune said the catch limit for sport and commercial fishers was one of lowest for Gulf snapper in history.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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