|This year's recreational Red Snapper Season in Federal Waters is down to|
just 3 days, compared to 9 days last year....
The Red Snapper season in Federal Waters this year has been slashed down to just 3 days for 2017. This is down from 9 days last year and many more days in previous years.
Charter for hire and commercial fishing vessels are not being subjected to such draconian restrictions, however.
Some business owners intimately familiar with this industry have expressed significant frustration over this Federal over-reach of power that is limiting recreational anglers' rights--and potentially hitting our economy in the pocket book.
"This is going to have a big impact on my business, as much as $75,000.00 dollars!" one exasperated business owner stated to me as we discussed this issue recently. "Cutting it down to 3 days is going to have a massive impact on the entire economy as well" he continued. "When we look at the number of reef permits, and assume they will fish twice this season, the value of the dollars spent can be calculated if we conservatively assume a party of 4 going out to the reefs to fish spend $200.00 on Gas, $50 on bait, $50 on food, $100 on drinks and miscellaneous items per day. If we assume $400.00 per trip per day multiplied by the number of permits, we will arrive at a figure of $2.3 Million per day!" He then went on to describe that depending upon what multiplier one uses, the value of this money in the economy as it turns over multiple times could be as much as $12Million daily. "Take $12 million time 6 days less this year for our recreational fishermen, and the
government is pulling $72Million our of our economy with this limited season!"
We went on to discuss that a significant portion of the taxes on these millions of lost dollars would come directly back to Escambia County. "This is going to cost the local economy a lot of revenue" this business owner stated. "We need to band together, reach out to our federal representatives and the President and the Secretary of Commerce to let them know what we think about this!" he stated.
This coming Thursday, the BCC will have this item on the agenda, hopefully we will speak with a unified voice and send our message to the Feds to get the heavy hands off of recreational anglers in Escambia County!