Red Snapper Quotas could affect Commercial Fisherman and Restaurants

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Destin is known for its local seafood; especially their red snapper.

"The public is used to having the snapper, and we have a tremendous demand and we don't want to lose that,” said David Krebs, Owner of Ariel Seafoods in Destin.

This week, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council is discussing possible changes to the amount of red snapper caught.

Currently commercial fisherman can take 51% of the quota, and recreational fisherman get 49%.

The proposal under consideration would tip the balance in favor of the recreational fishermen.

"With the recovery of the red snapper in the last five years, the fish are more abundant and easier to catch, so the recreational community catches their portion of the quota faster,” stated Krebs.

But commercial fisherman, and those who depend on their catches, are concerned.

Dewey Destin says his Harborside Restaurant cooks between 700 to 800 pounds of red snapper a week during the summer months.

"To take it away from the commercial fisherman who supply the restaurants and seafood markets is not only something against tradition, it is going against the fairness of everybody in the country being able to enjoy the fresh, local fish,” said Destin.

Both Destin and Krebs have lobbied Congress on the issue, and say they plan to return to Washington next week.