Representative Steve Southerland, II made a direct appeal this week for an immediate extension of the red snapper season to replace the fishing days potentially lost due to Tropical Storm Debby and other summer storms in the Gulf of Mexico. The letter, addressed to NOAA Fisheries Southeast regional administrator Dr. Roy Crabtree, asks for a 21-day extension through the end of July.
"I have heard from fellow Gulf Coast anglers and charter boat operators alike who are rightly concerned about Tropical Storm Debby's crippling impact on an already insufficient red snapper season. Without an immediate 21-day extension through the end of July's peak tourism season, our fishermen and our coastal communities will suffer a major economic hit. The strong support that our effort has generated from members across the Gulf Coast and surrounding regions reflects the urgent nature of our request. I am hopeful that our appeal will be acted on in a timely manner so that we can keep our fishermen fishing."
Southerland's letter was co-signed by 18 House colleagues from across the South, including all five Gulf states.