WASHINGTON, D.C.—Louisiana Congressmen Steve Scalise and Garret Graves issued the following statements today as the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) approved Louisiana’s Gulf Exempted Fishing Permits, which signals significant commitment from the federal government to recognize the economic benefits and vitality of the recreational fishing sector in the Gulf of Mexico.The permit allows Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to set recreational seasons in each state for the taking of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

“After the threat of only a three-day season last year, I am pleased to see an expanded Red Snapper fishing season for private anglers this time around, strengthening Louisiana’s rightful position as the ‘Sportsman’s Paradise,’” said Rep. Scalise. “It is my hope that today’s action scaling back federal control of the Red Snapper season marks the beginning of restoring power back to Gulf States who understand their states’ needs best.”

“This is great news for the countless number of normal, everyday people across Louisiana and the Gulf Coast who have seen their fishing opportunities decline year after year through abbreviated federal red snapper seasons. Last year, we successfully avoided the threat of a three-day season, but found ourselves back on a trajectory to have less than a week this year. But by working with fisheries managers back home , NOAA and others, we were able to get to a consensus solution with the 5 Gulf States that ensures recreational fishers will have a fair opportunity to go out and enjoy the bounty of the Gulf this season,” said Rep. Graves. “Louisiana continues to pave the way for state-based fisheries management through its LA Creel data collection method. LA Creel is the only NMFS-certified survey in the region and is a proven method for providing the accurate science necessary for fair, responsible and sustainable recreational fishing. We hope to continue that trend this year with another successful and responsible snapper season.”