Cuban ichthyologist, Felipe Poey, described the northern red snapper
in 1870 based on a specimen he took in the Gulf of Mexico where
the rosy-colored reef fish is common. Red snapper range in the Atlantic
from Massachusetts to Brazil, though they are rare north of Cape
Hatteras, North Carolina. Northern red snapper are also known as
sow snapper, mule snapper, chicken snapper, and many other names.
They reach an average length of 24 inches with a maximum of 36 inches,
weigh up to 20 pounds, and may live 40 to 50 years. Northern red
snapper have been a favorite target for sport and commercial anglers
in the Gulf and are considered to be overfished. Young snappers
are also taken as bycatch by shrimp trawlers which have had a significant
impact on their numbers. To reduce this bycatch, fishery managers
require fish bycatch reduction devices in shrimp trawls.