Today in the gulf coast many problems have arose with the shortening of fishing seasons for commercial fish such as the red snapper. These snapper have faced fisherman off the gulf coast with problems of overpopulation on artificial reefs and oilrigs off the coast of Alabama. Loss of jobs in the commercial fishing business has arose, 1600 jobs have been lost on Alabama’s gulf coast due to these seasons. Economically 2 billion dollars lost annually on gulf coast fishing trips for snapper. Gulf coast fishermen need the longer seasons to be able to continue the gulf coast commercial fishing industry. By making the 30 to 40 day season into a much longer 5 to 6 month season which will allow fisherman to jump revenues back to what they were making in the early 2000s.
Snapper seasons in the us have been cut 90 percent since 1997 which is a huge portion of the seasons gone making it much harder for boats to make money fishing in the gulf coast. By loosing the commercial fishing vessels local businesses such as restaurants and hotels will be affected also due to lack of a fishing season. Total populations of the snapper have risen exponentially in the past decade due to the fishing seasons loss of time. There are 3.5 times more snapper in Alabama’s artificial reef zone than in the whole Gulf of Mexico at this time. In 2006 the revenue of snapper fishing on the gulf coast was near 630 million in just 3 years the revenue had dropped 24 percent due to the lack of the longer seasons that were present in the past. For example a hunter in Florida or Alabama can harvest more deer in a season than they can harvest red snapper in a season. Today red snapper are a nuisance to fishermen due to the overpopulation of them, being the entire fisherman’s catch on the reefs but they are not able to keep these fish due to the season. Red snapper championship was the largest bottom fishing tournament in the world held out of Orange Beach, Alabama this one tournament would on average bring in 6 to 8 million dollars for one single marina with charter boats. These revenues are only for the boats themselves and not the other areas of business around the marinas that also benefit from the tournament such as hotels, bait and tackle shops, or even local shops business due increase in number of tourists. This was all lost though due to the shortening of the snapper season it is now impossible to hold this tournament in this short season of 30 to 40 days.
Solutions to this situation are very simple and cost effective. Solutions would not cost any large amounts of money but would be able to pay the commercial fishing and tourism industry back with a lot larger revenue than seen before with the short season that is being held today. One of the most sought after solutions that there is at the moment is the opening of the traditional season that is 6 months long cutting into the spring and fall seasons that are usually very slow for the charter industries due to the lack of a snapper season. By hosting longer snapper seasons people are very worried about the depletion of the population of the red snapper but studies have shown that with what the red snapper population is at now will not be affected by the fishing in a 6-month season due to the reproduction rates that red snapper have