01/05/2010 - A huge swath of offshore waters from Georgetown to the middle of Florida would be closed to bottom-fishing under a plan tentatively approved last month by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.
A number of environmental advocates, led by the Pew Environment Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts, have pushed for strong restrictions on bottom-fishing. Snapper populations may be just 3 percent of what’s needed for the species to breed in sustainable numbers, they say.
The leader of Pew’s red snapper campaign said last month that regulators should make certain whatever rules they adopt are strong enough to be effective. In planning how to preserve the species, “I think they need to make assumptions grounded in reality, showing that this plan has a high likelihood of success,” said Holly Binns, who runs Pew’s campaign against overfishing for the Southeast.
“No one wants to come back and take these more dramatic steps a few years down the road,” she said.
Read the full article Fisheries Managers Pick Area for Bottom-Fishing Closure on The Post and Courier's Web site.