(U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Wild-caught)
Red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico have declined due to excessive fishing pressure in the past, but a 2013 survey revealed a halt in overfishing, earning them a "Good Alternative" ranking.
Mule Sow, Rat, Tai, American Red Snapper, Northern Red Snapper
Buyer beware! West Coast rockfishes are often sold as Pacific red snapper. "True" red snapper for this recommendation belong to the family Lutjanidae in the western Atlantic. They can be imported from other countries, and often are referred to just as "snapper." However, many varieties of snapper exist and each carries a different recommendation so make sure to ask the fish's origin. Red snapper is known as tai when prepared for sushi, though several other species including tilapia, red sea bream and red porgy are also marketed as tai.
"True" red snapper, which range from Massachusetts to Mexico, is a very important snapper species caught in the U.S, in addition to vermilion and yellowtail. Mislabeling red snapper in the market is common. The red snapper population in the South Atlantic has a different Seafood Watch® ranking and is managed separately from the Gulf of Mexico stock, where most of U.S.'s red snapper originates.
Historical overfishing resulted in significant population declines of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico; however, management measures in the fishery have now improved. This population is considered overfished but not currently experiencing overfishing, though there are concerns that quotas should be set at lower levels to allow the population to rebuild more quickly.
Commercial fishermen target yellowtail snapper primarily with hook-and-line , and also catch vulnerable grouper species.
Red snapper is also often caught accidentally in the nets of shrimp fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. These shrimp fisheries are attempting to reduce accidental catch of snapper, and the management plan aims to return snapper populations to healthy and abundant levels. However, this is predicted to take until 2032 to achieve.