Feds won't go through with bottom-fishing closure

Red Snapper numbers better, but still no harvest allowed

Jerry Dilsaver

December 12, 2010 at 9:20 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Bottom fishing is back on in a huge area of the South Atlantic after officials received information that red snapper, which remain off limits, could be in better shape that expected.
Jerry Dilsaver
Bottom fishing is back on in a huge area of the South Atlantic after officials received information that red snapper, which remain off limits, could be in better shape that expected.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted unanimously at its Dec. 6-10 meeting in New Bern, N.C., to eliminate the 5,000 or so square miles of ocean that was scheduled to be closed to all bottom-fishing, in part because of a promising report about the status red snapper.

The closure was part of Amendment 17A to the Grouper Snapper Fishery Management Plan passed on Dec. 3. It encompassed an area beginning roughly off Brunswick, Ga., south to Melbourne, Fla., from 90 to 240 feet deep after originally having its northern border drawn along the North Carolina/South Carolina border.

Fishermen have been telling biologists that the red snapper fishery was much better than the feds’ gloom-and-doom judgment. At the meeting, the SAFMC reviewed the most-recent stock assessment showed snapper in good-enough shape that the area should not be closed to all fishing to protect red snapper from discard mortality. However, the stocks were not healthy enough to reopen the fishery in the South Atlantic, so the moratorium on catching red snapper will continue.

“The Council considered a number of factors before deciding to eliminate the area closure off southern Georgia and the north/central coast of Florida,” said David Cupka, SAFMC’s chairman. “We considered the reductions required by the new stock assessment, the impacts of the current prohibition on red snapper, the reduction in fishing trips as documented by the most recent recreational data, comments received from hundreds of fishermen regarding the larger numbers of red snapper available and the effects of the downturn in the economy that have negatively impacted fishing activities.

“The Council will continue to closely monitor the (program) in place for red snapper to follow the results of the continued moratorium on the harvest of red snapper,” Cupka said. “We are hopeful that the stock assessment scheduled for 2013 will show a marked improvement in the red snapper stock and managers will be able to allow some harvest as the stock continues to rebuild.”

The area closure would have prevented recreational and commercial fishing for 73 species of snappers, groupers, grunts, triggerfish, and other species in the snapper-grouper management complex that commonly co-occur with red snapper.

According to the recent stock assessment, a 70-percent reduction in fishing mortality – including dead discards – is required to end overfishing for red snapper. It was decided that the reductions in effect have possibly been greater than expected, and the decline in recreational red snapper mortality under the moratorium during 2010 may be greater than initially estimated. The most-recent preliminary data from the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) for the private and charter sectors, including January through August 2010, show a 33-percent decline in fishing trips in the South Atlantic region compared to 2007 to 2009 and about an 80-percent decline in red snapper mortality.

The MRIP data proved to SAFMC members that the reduction in effort was consistent with fishermen’s reports and possibly reflects the current economic downturn, while the decline in mortality may reflect fishermen's efforts to avoid red snapper. By incorporating the mortality reductions observed in the 2010 preliminary MRIP data, it is possible the current moratorium could provide as much as a 77-percent reduction in total mortality.


View other articles written Jerry Dilsaver


Reports / Forum
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 889 Views | 1 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 817 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 741 Views | 3 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 733 Views | 0 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 631 Views | 1 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 557 Views | 5 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 485 Views | 1 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 389 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 383 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 345 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 337 Views | 0 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 285 Views | 0 Comments
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 263 Views | 1 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 255 Views | 0 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 209 Views | 1 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 557 Views | 5 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 741 Views | 3 Comments
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 263 Views | 1 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 209 Views | 1 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 485 Views | 1 Comments
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 889 Views | 1 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 631 Views | 1 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 389 Views | 0 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 285 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 337 Views | 0 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 733 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 255 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 817 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 345 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 383 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Tagged Out!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 263 Views | 1 Comments
First Gobbler!  This report contains photos  
23 hours ago | 209 Views | 1 Comments
GT and Viper 
April 21 at 7:46 pm | 557 Views | 5 Comments
Double with Golden  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:45 pm | 631 Views | 1 Comments
Golden Wings  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 7:42 pm | 389 Views | 0 Comments
First turkey and with a bow!  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 3:29 pm | 485 Views | 1 Comments
Fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 21 at 9:18 am | 285 Views | 0 Comments
Cold, Rainy and Windy Tough on Fishing 
April 20 at 2:23 pm | 337 Views | 0 Comments
Take a tree stand, please  This report contains photos  
April 20 at 1:21 pm | 889 Views | 1 Comments
Catawba Catfish Club Lake Wateree,SC 5-3-14 Tournament 
April 19 at 5:15 pm | 733 Views | 0 Comments
weyerhaeuser hunting land 
April 19 at 2:12 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
taking the boat and 2 year old out(high rock lake) 
April 19 at 1:55 pm | 255 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
April 19 at 9:31 am | 817 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
April 18 at 10:59 am | 345 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
April 18 at 6:15 am | 383 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 8:03 pm | 741 Views | 3 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
April 20 at 3:13 am | 44 Views
NEW REMINGTON 870 TACTICAL/ULTIMATE COMBAT SHOTGUN
NEW REMINGTON 870 TACTICAL/ULTIMATE COMBAT SHOTGUN
This new 870 was built for one purpose to save your life or your family's. It has form function and reliability. Has a Mesa Tactical recoil reducing 6 position stock. There is no felt recoil even with 3 inch buck plus the stock is comfortable in...
Yesterday at 12:46 pm | 26 Views
Still Hunting Deer Club
Still Hunting Deer Club
Membership available in still hunting deer club for the 2014-15 season. Club has almost 4,000 acres of leased land and owns 55 acres with a two story club house. Club is located in Warren county about 5 miles from Littleton. Club dues are $725.00....
April 21 at 7:43 am | 124 Views
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
70hp Yamaha 4 stroke with 6' jack plate, only 25 hours. 2012 custom fit float on/off trailer w/removable tongue, Mossy oak W/ Bimini top. Fish finder, GPS, 55lb Min Kota trolling motor, live well, cooler bench seat with leaning post, two lockable...
April 19 at 11:35 am | 169 Views
2009 Yamaha RHINO 700 SPORT Package Very Rare
2009 Yamaha RHINO 700 SPORT Package Very Rare
LIMITED SPECIAL EDITION (INCLUDING SPORT PACKAGE OPTION HAS BETTERrnSHOCKS WITH PIGY BAGS THAN STOCK RHINO PLUS HAS UPGRADED STEERINGrnWHEEL AND SHIFTER ALL OEM CAME FROM YAMAHA ) YAMAHA, S ULTRAMATICrnV-BELT TRANSMISSION ,VERY WELL PROVEN IN LONG...
15 minutes ago | 2 Views
MDBR Hunting Club has 4 openings!
MDBR Hunting Club has 4 openings!
MDBR Hunting Club is a small 10 member club with a 350 acre lease near Gulf, NC (Chatham County). No Dog Hunting in Chatham county! Very peaceful area! Membership dues pay for lease & insurance. Anyone interested should visit our website at...
April 22 at 1:41 pm | 42 Views
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Baby Desert Eagle 40 S&W for $250
Excellent Desert Eagle 40 caliber Hand Gun For Sale,6 ' barrel,semi rnrnautomatic,& made by Magnum Research,right here in the USA,& comes with 1-7 rnrnround magazine, super heavy duty fitted carry case with soft rummer rnrninside,take down...
April 20 at 3:18 am | 70 Views