Sea Grant and its research partners announced two updates on efforts to better understand red snapper populations in U.S. coastal waters today. These complementary projects, which are interdisciplinary and connected to multiple partners and stakeholders, including the National Marine Fisheries Service and Fisheries Management Councils, are being conducted by external, university-based teams and administered by Sea Grant.
In the Gulf of Mexico, a Sea Grant-funded research team led by Greg Stunz, Ph.D. of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi along with 80 other researchers issued the final report for their project. In South Carolina, Sea Grant announced the research team that will lead a similar study in the Atlantic waters of the Southern U.S. to estimate the total abundance of red snapper there. The Atlantic team will be led by William Patterson, Ph.D. of the University of Florida, who also served as a researcher on the Gulf of Mexico team.
Congress directed NOAA to support independent studies on red snapper in these two regions to enhance the agency’s ability to manage the highly prized species. Sea Grant’s federal-university partnership model was utilized to competitively select external, university-based research teams that include robust stakeholder engagement strategies as well as interdisciplinary and multi-method research strategies. The NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service is also an active partner in this collaborative effort and a primary user of the results generated from both projects.