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AbstractThis paper will discuss the Northern Red Snapper, Lutjanus campechanus. This species is commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean and has been known to reach sizes over 3 feet long and weigh over 80 lbs (Northern Red Snapper). According to one author “The commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) off Louisiana are regulated by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in state waters”(Froese). The red snapper has ten dorsal spines, fourteen soft dorsal rays. The Northern Red Snapper eats anything that is smaller than them for example the fish is approximately 24 inches long. Some examples of the animals that the fish would encounter and eat is smaller fish, and octopus. “Northern red snappers reproduce through a behavior known as broadcast spawning, where several females release their eggs and several males release sperm into the water column above the seafloor, at the same time. This method increases the likelihood that fertilized eggs will not be eaten by egg predators near the seafloor and will instead be carried away by the currents”(Ocean Encyclopedia). The northern red snapper is a powerful predator that historically reached sizes of over three feet and over 80 pounds. A recent worrisome decline in populations of this species has led to tight regulation of northern red snapper fishing activities in both state and federal waters in the United States and in Mexico. Without continuing enforcement, the commercial viability of this species could be at risk. Literature ReviewIn the 1970’s congress passed the Magnuson Act, which put the National Maine Fisheries Service in charge of determining and protecting species of fish from being over harvested by foreign fishing fleets, but soon extended to regulating domestic harvesting (Shipp 2016). “The act was originally intended to control marine-life harvest by foreign fleets, but soon extended to catches made by domestic fishers. Congress mandated in the Magnuson Act that overfishing must cease, and created eight regional fishery management councils that set up scientific research panels”(Shipp). The restriction made it to where instead of being a year round limit it went down to a one hundred and ninety day limit and a four-fish bag limit. The fish was easily caught in the nets while fisherman was fishing for shrimp. The Red Snappers that were caught in the net made for shrimp always consisted of the juvenile or smaller fish while capturing the shrimp that was intended on catching. “Estimates suggested that the trawls removed up to 80 percent of these juveniles from potential recruitment to the red snapper stocks. Those restrictions, plus plummeting shrimp prices caused by an influx of farm-raised shrimp from around the planet, created real hardship”(Shipp). The goal of this restriction was to keep the population from decreasing even more than it already was at the time and to also insure that it put a stop to overfishing. In result of this restriction it helped the population by creating a fish bag limit and during this period the stocks continued to expand and increase the population. Most of the people agree with the restrictions but some still claim that some bait lures attract and don’t increase the population of the fish. The political disadvantages of the restrictions was that “The states taking complete control of the management of the red snapper stocks, with each state managing its waters out to 200 miles”(Shipp). All of the states have pitched in in their own way to help create a more successful way to help. According to one author “Florida features an abundance of natural hard bottom, especially west of the peninsula, Alabama created an ecosystem of reefs, Mississippi began a reef program and Louisiana and Texas waters contain massive petroleum platforms”(Shipp). With all of the different managements coming together has created a plan were ” It safeguards both for the stocks themselves and for the commercial sector. The plan is barely on life support buried under a mound of congressional bureaucracy”(Shipp). There was more disadvantages and advantages if the ban continued it helped keep the population up but it also made it harder for fisherman to continue their sport. Discussion       This essay is written to talk about the restrictions of the red snapper and basic facts about the Red Snapper. This essay has created an opinion. The opinion that has come about is that the restrictions have created an abundance of help but have also made it so that it is harder to go fishing. The restrictions have made a huge impact on the fish live and how the environment is for them to live in. The fish environment is a huge part in what the fish act like in the sea. The Red Snapper debate has given people many different perspectives about the fish itself. This is the information about the restrictions on the fish itself. The restrictions were placed to help the fish population of the Red Snapper because of the population going down from the abundance of fisherman constantly catching the fish especially the juvenile which are considered the smaller fish that like to stay with the shrimp colonies get caught up while fishermen are fishing for the shrimp themselves. It helped to make the environment of the fish and the surrounding areas safer to live in. The reason that this opinion has come about is concluded by all of the information and facts that have been shown and or proven about the Red Snapper. This is the best way to help protect the fish and the environment that they live in.

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