Red Snapper Frustrations Boil Over in Alabama as Feds Place Strict Limits on 2023 Season

In coastal Alabama, red snapper fishing lures in millions of dollars in economic impact to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Tourists, who spend their vacations on the beaches, will often seek a charter boat captain and plunk down the cash to sail off for hours of deep-sea fishing in pursuit of red snapper.

But salty questions are being raised this year over Alabama’s reduced haul of the fish from last year. And the reduced aggregate weight of red snapper caught in 2022 resulted in the federal government slashing the state’s quota for red snapper fishing this year by such a considerable figure that some officials believe the 2023 season might have to end before summer vacations are over.

The latest dispute is part of a decades-long battle over the science behind red snapper assessments. It’s a scientific battle waged between federal and state bureaucrats that shows no signs of letting up any time soon.

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