Closure could halt bottom fishing on all species
The latest proposal from NOAA concerning the red snapper fishery in the South Atlantic region is to implement a complete closure. While this is alarming enough, the unintended consequences of this closure could effectively halt bottom fishing of any kind off the coast of the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida’s east coast.
And the organization plans to put this closure in place without waiting for results from the ongoing South Atlantic Great Red Snapper Count, a 3-year project aimed at providing better data on total abundance, genomics and mortality data of red snapper.
The South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance has taken the forefront of the fight against this closure, bringing it to the attention of lawmakers and the public. They’ve helped secure the support of state and national senators and representatives throughout the southeast.
“The South Carolina Boating and Fishing Alliance (SCBFA) appreciates the support on this issue from our members of Congress. Our Alliance members understand the importance of strong and sustainable fisheries to our economy. While the two-day fishing season for red snappers this year is ridiculously short, full closures would be devastating for the livelihoods of many and would decimate our local fishing economy. We have made progress in reviving the South Atlantic red snapper stock and the ongoing Great Red Snapper Count will provide important data to demonstrate progress. Full area closures without the benefit of the research data would be bureaucratic overreach of the worst kind.” -Gettys Brannon, Alliance CEO
Public is invited to share their thoughts
SCBFA Senior Advisor Bob McAlister said as important as it is to have the support of these members of Congress, the voice of public anglers is just as essential. He urges anglers to show up at the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s public forum on Sept. 14, 2022.
“This is a public meeting, with the public invited to speak and share their thoughts on the proposed closure. Comments from the public are very important in forums like this, and we need to see a good showing of anglers who are willing to speak at this meeting,” said McAllister.
The public comment period on the proposed closure is scheduled on Sept. 14 at 4 p.m. at the Town and County Inn (2008 Savannah Hwy) in Charleston, S.C.
For those unable to attend the meeting, they can share their thoughts on the proposal virtually by clicking here.
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