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Sustainable Fisheries

Restoring the Gulf of Mexico’s Red Snapper Fishery

Red snapper are an iconic fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, and the red snapper fishery is one of the most important in the region. In the 1990s, fishing and other factors led Gulf red snapper to drop to just 2% of its historic and healthy biomass. Now, the stock is halfway through a 27-year plan to rebuild it to a healthy size by 2032 that will benefit not just the fish but also fishermen and communities throughout the region.

The recovery of this essential Gulf fish is a hard-earned success in the making, but one with many more chapters to write. The fishery’s recovery still faces many challenges, and recent scientific data indicate that progress toward rebuilding the stock has slowed or even started to reverse due to renewed fishing pressure.

Learn more here about the recovery of the Gulf red snapper—arguably one of the most contentious fisheries management stories in the United States—and some of the challenges and lessons learned about what it truly takes to have sustainable fisheries.

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