Migratory Pattern of the Red Snapper?

Discussion in '360 Degrees Lounge' started by STx Fisherman, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. STx Fisherman

    STx Fisherman Senior Member

    I wonder about the knowledge that the NMFS, TPWD, CCA, RFA...or any other entity out there has about the red snapper...lifespan, concentrations around specific environments, reproducivity, average sizes, and most importantly....migratory habits.

    We should perhaps recommend tagging red snapper and following them. I admit up front that I do not know their migratory habits, but I would guess that red snapper probably do not venture too far from home. If I am right, then Florida's problem with red snapper is much more of a problem in Florida than what we have here in Texas.

    Why punish Texas fishermen for problems in other coast waters?

    Let's get scientific about the red snapper industry...this is the REAL way to manage a fishery. Scientific facts and actions based upon those facts would ultimately produce the best results!

    Making the HUGE decisions that are being made just to get the monetary piece of the pie is unacceptable.

    I would certainly want to participate in a model that is based upon scientific facts ....not political rhetoric. We should be doing the best that we can with the money!

    Has any organization ever studied the migratory range of the red snapper?
  2. shanker

    shanker Senior Member

    There has already been research done that not only proves that there are 2 distinct red snapper fishery's, one east and one west of the Mississippi, although mitochondrial DNA does not differ enough to warrant 2 difference species, but there are 2 fishery's.

    Tagging programs have already taken place have have shown 99 of of red snapper stay whithen 2km of where they are placed.

  3. Mont

    Mont Junior member

    Bob Ship has done some tagging (something on the order of 10K worth of fish) and has found that red snapper can range up to 300 miles. Both of the Red Snapper AP's I sit on have proposed to the Gulf Council splitting the Gulf into at least 2 zones, but the council always shoots it down.
  4. xs_tackle

    xs_tackle Senior Member

    Bob Ship has done some tagging (something on the order of 10K worth of fish) and has found that red snapper can range up to 300 miles. Both of the Red Snapper AP's I sit on have proposed to the Gulf Council splitting the Gulf into at least 2 zones, but the council always shoots it down.

    Any clue as to the publicly stated rationales or underlying reasons for shooting the idea down?

    In any case, I think it's high time to cut the commercial harvest of snappers. Lotsa folks will settle for tilapia. And, who knows; maybe they're great.
  5. shanker

    shanker Senior Member

    Tilapia are good fish...

    I think that the time has come to start enforcing the current regulations, thats the true fix.... Catch the commercials comming in at the dock and weigh their catch every time....
  6. jim smarr

    jim smarr Guest

    Red Snapper has been studied to death. That is one of the problems. Once you have a fish designated overfished the grant hounds make a living studying them. They seem to always need just one more study to prove up their stance. The process seems to get to be a perpetual motion closed loop system once started. Most of the studies are suspect at best. If you solve the problem you lose your paycheck. There is big money in a fishery being classified as overfished. Just follow the money.

    Studies like the longline studies showing an abundance of breeders on the mud flats has been stalled. This study would show snapper brood stocks are still there and in good shape. This would be information that would remove the fish from an overfished status. The second study showing red snapper reproduce over artificial reefing was held back or stalled in getting a pere review. This study was just
    reviewed and approved after several submittals as I understand it. This would add the brood stock in Alabama in the breeding biomass. Remember that Alabama catches 42% of all the red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. This share of the broodstock again would remove red snapper from an over fished status. The counts of active shrimpers has been a problem to get real time effort. A simple post card campaign could supply the info . The computer model still had them fishing at pre Katrina and Rita status. The fuel cost drove most of them off the water. Seems at 80% by catch number we should want to know quickly. The 80% number was shown to be only 16% to 26%
    by the way by NMFS late last year. For many years we understood the number was greatly inflated. Good money in bad fishing. I am not saying shrimpers are not a problem but are not as dangerous as commercial overfishing and illegal long lines. Remember due to IFQ program the commercials can now fish 365 days 24/7 . Vessel montoring system systems not being inforced after the regulation has been in place about a year leave the commercial snapper on the honor system. We go to 2 fish but the Commercials have a unmonitored fishery to do as they please.

    I could bore you with 14 years of my observations but I think you have gotten the picture. FEDS and enviros love the commercial fishermen as their carbon footprint is smaller than ours.

    We need you all involved with the Federal system as you were recently with the State Scoping meetings to get the feds attention. If 500 people showed up in future Gulf Council Meetings they would feel the pressure. I see the same faces from the recreational sector. About ten of us show up across the gulf. The enviros and grants hounds out number us ten to one. We have to do better. I understand you can not go to out of state meetings but you can enter a statement for the record via email, fax or snail mail . There are a million saltwater anglers in Texas. We need to be heard loud and clear.

    I walked into my first Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council in Austin some 12 years ago. I realized we had a train wreck then with fisheries management and it has taken 12 years to get the data through the system regarding the above mentioned studies. We have pushed hard. These studies will be devastating to the NMFS Computer model projections. Just maybe we will get the playing field a little more level.

    I agree with a federal weigh station at every port. Texas could do this and at least run them to the east gulf. Now that is an idea.

    Jim Smarr
    RFA Texas
    [email protected]