Gulf of Mexico red snapper are on the road to recovery after decades of severe overfishing. Federally mandated catch limits form the foundation of a strong rebuilding plan that began in 2007 and is delivering results. Today, red snapper are more plentiful, larger, and spreading out across the Gulf.
This progress has required time, sacrifice from fishermen and consumers, and science-based decision-making by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, which oversees the recovery plan and is composed of commercial and recreational fishermen, scientists, and state wildlife managers.
Allowable catch has steadily increased as the fish population has grown, and full recovery is expected by 2032. In the meantime, conservationists, fishermen, scientists, and policymakers are working to maximize fishing opportunities, keep catch within scientifically sound limits, and tailor rules to the needs of individual anglers, commercial fishermen, and charter boat captains who target this iconic species.
If allowed the time necessary to fully recover, the Gulf red snapper population should support abundant fishing, seafood, and recreational opportunities for years to come.