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YOUR THREE CENTS: Do you support or oppose the shorter red snapper season in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico?
Recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico have caught more than their fair share of red snapper in 6 of the past 7 years... and the federal government illegally allowed it, and did nothing about it.
That's the bottom line of a recent federal court decision.
It now means charter boat and recreational fishermen will have only 11 days to catch red snapper in federal waters this year.
The limited snapper season, which was 42 days last year, is set to begin June 1 in federal waters.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved the emergency change Thursday morning during a meeting in Baton Rouge.
Despite concerns of charter fishermen that the change would severely limit their business, council members said the limited season was needed to ensure the future of red snapper in the Gulf.
The daily catch limit will remain at two fish per day.
The limited season must still be approved by the Secretary of Commerce.
The change was prompted in part by a successful lawsuit filed by commercial fisherman who claimed recreational fisherman consistently violated catch limits.
After receiving a briefing on that court decision, the Council said it took the drastic actions to prevent the recreational sector from exceeding its quota in 2014 and beyond.
Do you support or oppose the shorter red snapper season in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico? tell us what you think. You can vote on our Facebook page under the Connect 3 button, or just click here to go there right now.