Holly Binns, a project director for the Pew Environment Group, issued the following statement today in response to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's vote to allow limited red snapper fishing in the South Atlantic from North Carolina to Florida.
“This is welcome news for fishermen, who can once again target a favorite catch. Red snapper is in better shape today because of the measures taken to save it.”
“The moratorium was always a last resort and a temporary stopgap to give the critically depleted species a needed break. Now we must be vigilant that overfishing does not happen again. Fishery managers must carefully monitor amounts of catch to avoid exceeding limits that are necessary to bring this valuable fish back.”
“This good news is tempered by the fact that the fish still have a long way to go. The population had plummeted to between 11 and 14 percent of a healthy level, and full recovery will take years. But lifting the moratorium is an early sign that the long-term rebuilding plan is working. And it suggests that if we stick with the program, red snapper can rebound.”
For more details about red snapper and the long-term rebuilding plan, see our fact sheet.