MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - The fishermen say federal regulations are hurting them and the local economy.
Jerry Busby is a sport fisherman who says government regulations limiting red snapper fishing and shortening the season has led to an overabundance of the fish.
Busby says that's a big problem for commercial and recreational fishermen.
"This time of year, with the snapper season not being in, we try to fish for other fish, and we can't even get down to the bottom. We drop the line, most of the time the snapper's on the line before it hits the bottom," Busby said.
"We can't fish for anything else. It's just too many here. I don't understand exactly what's going on and with the regulations are like they are."
Starting June 1, anglers will have only 27 days to catch red snapper. That's the shortest season ever. Charter boat owner Skipper Thierry said it's going to hurt his business.
"You go from 180-day snapper season just a few years ago to 27 days. It's not real hard to do the math on that," Thierry said.
The fishermen agree with Bentley, who refused to join four other Gulf state governors who signed a letter to Congress last week. The governors want more control of red snapper management in their states. But, Bentley says Alabama should have total control of Red Snapper fishing.
Captain Mike Thierry agrees.
"The system is broke. Their data is wrong. We need to turn it over to the state and let them manage it. They've had their chance for 25 years to manage it. The data's wrong," Capt. Thierry said.
Governor Bentley does support a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Jo Bonner last week which would extend state water boundaries in the gulf. The measure would also allow states to manage local fisheries.
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