BILOXI, Miss. (WALA) - A public meeting was held Tuesday, Jan. 15 in Biloxi proposing regional management of recreational red snapper.
The 2012 red snapper season was cut short to a 40-day season, and there's talk of this season lasting only 27 days.
A lot of folks are upset about the possible change and how red snapper is currently being managed federally.
"At two fish last year, (it was) the worst year I've ever had. Was it because of the fishing number or the economy? We don't know," said Tom Becker with T & D Charters.
Right now, red snapper is federally managed as a single unit.
Amendment 39 would create regional management which would make regulations more suitable to local needs.
Anglers in the Biloxi community came out to a public meeting hosted by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to hear more about amendment 39 and several anglers had questions.
"For the people here how many fish are we going to get? That's the problem we have is how many fish were going to get," Becker said.
"How's it going to affect people fishing, the economy to this coast, this area? It's hard enough for the tourists to come to this area with the bad publicity, so we need some good publicity and some people want to come down and go fishing. They don't want to look at the boats tied up," said recreational fisherman J.R. Titmus.
Titmus suggests letting states regulate its own fish 30 miles out, then letting the federal government control commercial fishing there on.
Officials said right now it's still early in the decision making process and they're gathering the public's input about regional management.
If there is a change in the future, it will go into effect after this year's red snapper season.
Another meeting will be held Wednesday, January 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn, Orange Beach, Al.
If you're unable to attend a public hearing, a virtual presentation is available by clicking on the thermometer icon on the council's homepage.
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