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Red Snapper Die as Gulf Rigs Decommissioned

Should the federal government destroy fish habitat and individuals of a species deemed overfished?

February 20, 2013

The video below, from a local newscast, shows red snapper floating to the surface dead near oil platforms. The rigs, though harmful to the environment, are also fish-supporting structures for species such as red snapper. Obsolete oil rigs are blown up and decommissioned according to terms with the Department of the Interior–that’s who authorizes the platform in the first place. The decommissioning process (yes, the explosions) wind up killing many red snapper. We know red snapper aren’t a highly sought after fly rod target, but nonetheless, it’s surprising the federal government sanctions such an effort that leads to the killing of a species they deemed overfished. And for what? Because these abandoned rigs are eye sores? We believe there should be a much better reason for destroying fish habitat than that. What are your thoughts? –Ed

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