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A Longer Gulf ARS Season Coming Our Way?

So Congressman David Jolly has been going to bat for us fisherman and he is celebrating a small win that could lead to MORE FISHING DAYS!  Here is the press release on his recent achievement.

Longer Gulf Red Snapper fishing season may be coming thanks to Rep. Jolly

Seminole, FL – Congressman David Jolly’s (FL-13) proposal for third-party data collection of Gulf Red Snapper and other Gulf reef species for federal stock assessments has been included in the Fiscal Year 2016 omnibus spending package.  The new data collection program could ultimately lead to longer Red Snapper fishing seasons for the recreational sectors.

“This is a significant victory that will ultimately give us a better, more accurate picture of the fish stocks in the Gulf of Mexico.  Many in the fishing community, from private anglers, to charter, to commercial, have questioned the government’s assessments. Third-party data collection will now expand the information available to the government, particularly for Red Snapper, and improve the data used to set fishing seasons,” Jolly said.

“In the end, if the research shows a larger fish population than the government suggests, this will open the door for a longer fishing season for species like Red Snapper. A longer Snapper season is an economic and quality of life win throughout our community, positively impacting everyone from local scientists committed to the protection of fish populations, to recreational anglers, to charter operators, to businesses that depend on fishing tourism, like hotel and restaurant operators,” Jolly concluded.

The $10 million for the data collection program will be managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Southeast Regional Office located in St. Petersburg and Sea Grant Universities, like the University of Florida and Florida State University.
The U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate are expected to approve the spending package later this week.

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