The majority of red snapper caught in the Gulf off Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle come from federal waters. Much of this area was closed in June in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Consequently, recreational fishermen caught only a third of their 3.4 million pound Gulf of Mexico quota this year. The reopening is an opportunity for recreational fishermen to catch what remains of their quota for the year.
"We worked closely with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, fishermen, and the charter and sportfishing industries on this reopening to provide recreational fishermen an opportunity to harvest their full quota this year," said Eric Schwaab, assistant administrator for NOAA's Fisheries Service. "This new season will be a boost to recreational fishing and tourism following this unprecedented oil spill event."