OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (AP) - A team of 21 scientists will conduct a study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The Sun Herald reports that the panel of researchers from universities and state and federal agencies was convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, and awarded $9.5 million in federal funds. The project will receive another $2.5 million from the universities.
In a news release last week, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross highlighted the important of access to and long-term sustainability of red snapped to Gulf communities.
Project leader Greg Stunz of Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, says the scientists hope to work with local fishermen.
Area fishermen have long criticized federal estimates of red snapper, saying they result in unnecessarily short seasons.