Letter to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regarding Amendment 17A to the Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan, Apr. 2010

Red snapper have been overfished for the last 40 years, and have been reduced to 3% of ssustainable levels. The stock assessment found that an 83-87% 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 mortality reduction because red snapper are often caught accidentally while fishing for other species. Thus, analysis by NMFS and Council staff has shown that it is necessary to close bottom fishing in areas deemed to be red snapper hotspots to address this accidental catch.