Return ‘Em Right aims to increase survival of reef fish that are caught and released in the Gulf of Mexico. Project partners include Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida, Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, NOAA and a coalition of anglers, industry groups, state agencies, universities, government and non-government organizations committed to maintaining healthy fish stocks and fishing access in the Gulf of Mexico.
The project will provide the training and gear to anglers in the Gulf of Mexico to improve the survival of reef fish and benefit the health of the fishery. Other aspects of the project include funding studies to address depredation and release mortality concerns, as well as monitor descending device effectiveness to document improved survival of fish. In total, these efforts will help increase the number of fish that get back down to depth safely to help more fish live, and provide improved fishing experiences for anglers.
Improving reef fish survival by equipping anglers with the knowledge and gear to confidently and successfully release reef fish.
To foster a lasting community of engaged anglers that supports the future health of Gulf of Mexico fisheries.
This $30 million project was selected and funded by the Deepwater Horizon Open Ocean Trustee Implementation Group as part of the 2019 Open Ocean Restoration Plan. Reef fish species are recreationally, commercially, and ecologically important to the Gulf of Mexico, but were substantially harmed by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Trillions of fish larvae were killed. These losses likely translated into millions to billions of fish that would have reached a year old. The spill also negatively impacted juvenile and adult reef fish health and their communities.