08/07/2011 - Annual catch limits for species of fish caught off the Southeast coast will be considered this week as the federal government works to prevent overfishing of the nation's seafood stocks.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates fishing between 3 miles and 200 miles offshore from North Carolina to Florida, meets Tuesday in Charleston.
Holly Binns, a director with the Pew Environmental Group of the Pew Charitable Trusts, said the councils in recent years have taken steps to regulate species already overfished. Now, they're looking at what she called "step two" by seeking to limit the catch on all other species.
"It's a prescription to prevent overfishing," she said. "You don't want to just take care of one problem and then wait for a problem to develop in other species down the road."
She noted research that estimates that fishermen could have landed another $3 million worth of fish off the Southeast coast in 2009 if red snapper and gag grouper populations had not been so depleted.
Read the full article, Catch Limits for Southeast Coast to Be Considered, on The Miami Herald's Web site.