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State leaders ask Trump to extend Red Snapper season by executive order

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Friday, June 2, 2017, both Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) and former Chief Justice Roy Moore (R) sent letters to President Trump formally requesting that he use his Executive powers to extend the 2017 Federal Red Snapper Season.

Governor Ivey said in a statement, “Red Snapper fishing is vital to Alabamians as it is a major source of recreational enjoyment and provides great economic impact. Overreaching Federal bureaucrats have unjustly made the 2017 Red Snapper Season shorter than any season in history – that decision is simply unacceptable for Alabama.”

Gov. Ivey continued, “I have asked President Trump to extend the season to include every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in June, July and August as well as July 3 and 4 for the 2017 season. The Federal government’s estimates of the number of Red Snapper being caught and living in the wild are simply not accurate.

Chief Justice Moore wrote, “Recently, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) restricted the recreational Red Snapper season on our Gulf Coast to only three days apparently as a penalty for exceeding the 2016 recreational quota by a mere 0.02 percent.”

Moore wrote, “The unreasonable limitation on recreational fishing for Red Snapper appears to be a continuation of Barack Obama’s policies to control and overregulate fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonetheless, it is a within your authority to rescind this unnecessary and irrational regulation. The people of Alabama need your help in this matter.”

Judge Moore is running in the special Republican Primary for US Senate on August 15.

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State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who is from Mobile and is a recreational fisherman himself, went red snapper fishing on Saturday, the final day of the three that Alabama fishermen are allowed in Federal waters.

Zeigler told The Alabama Political Reporter, “There was evidence of an abundance of Red Snapper. All nine of our anglers caught their limit of two snappers each.”

Zeigler said, “Over 20,000 artificial reefs have been built off Alabama shores. The reefs are perfect habitats for red snapper. The Feds refuse to count the snapper on the reefs. The Feds are not good at a lot of things, and counting fish is one of them.”

Zeigler said, “This is the most ridiculous regulatory decision ever made by the Federal government. It is so unreasonable that it should cause a backlash. Alabama needs to get completely away from Federal regulation of our fishery and have State regulation.”

Zeigler said, “People who do not go deep sea fishing do not realize what problems are caused by the federal mismanagement of our Alabama fisheries. These over-reaching limits are bad for the boat industry and seafood industry. This is terrible for the consumer who works to buy and equip a boat and then has only a three-day season.”

Zeigler is exploring running for Governor in 2018.

Gov. Ivey said, “I hope the President will do the right thing and take swift action on my request and right this wrong.”

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While the three-day Federal waters season has ended, the Season to fish for Red Snapper in State waters does not end until July 31.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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