Letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Regarding Amendment 17A to the South Atlantic Snapper-Grouper Fishery Management Plan, Nov. 2009

Red snapper have been overfished for the last 40 years, and have been reduced to 3% of 1945 levels. The stock assessment found that an 87% reduction in red snapper mortality is necessary to end overfishing as required by law.  Unfortunately, a moratorium on red snapper fishing will not yield the required 87% mortality reduction because red snapper are often caught accidentallywhile fishing for other species. Thus, it is necessary to close bottom fishing in areas deemed to be red snapper hotspots to address this accidental catch.