Red snapper study in Gulf will help determine fish numbers
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Scientists plan to tag 3,000 to 5,000 red snapper during April and May, as part of a study to estimate just how many of the popular sport and table fish live in the Gulf.
The $12 million study also involves visual counts, habitat surveys, and other studies. It will check the accuracy of federal figures.
Overfishing and incidental catch in shrimp trawls caused red snapper numbers to plummet from the 1960s to late 1980s.
Since federal regulation began in 1990, numbers have rebounded.
Many anglers say federal estimates are now too low and seasons too short. The study involves scientists from the five Gulf states and Virginia.