(WKRG) — Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have called on the federal government to extend the 2017 Gulf of Mexico red snapper season for recreational fishermen.
In a letter sent to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today, the lawmakers cite concerns newly shortened season will have on coastal economies and industries dependent on access to the fishery. They also raised concerns on how this could impact fishermen’s safety.
“In years past, we have raised con
cern that setting a rigid fishing season of consecutive days may put anglers in harm’s way due to Florida’s unpredictable and infrequent summer storm,” the letter reads.
“We continue to believe that allowing more flexibility in the season to accommodate dangerous weather would help fishermen avoid dangerous situations.”
On Tuesday, the NOAA announced the 2017 season will be nearly a week less than last year’s, limiting recreational fishermen to just three days and 49 days for charter fishermen.
If the season continues as is, it will open for recreational anglers on June 1 and run until June 3. The charter-for-hire season will open the same day (June 1) and remain open for 49 days.