U.S. fishery officials, fearing red snapper stocks are at risk of depletion, may ban harvesting for the species for six months or more, beginning as early as October. It's a move that's not going over well with the fishing and seafood communities from Florida to the Carolinas.
U.S. fishery officials, fearing red snapper stocks are at risk of depletion, may ban harvesting for the species for six months or more, beginning as early as October. It's a move that's not going over well with the fishing and seafood communities.Both commercial and recreational fishermen from Florida to the Carolinas argue there's plenty of fish out there, thanks to size and catch restrictions implemented in recent years.But the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's plan, known as Amendment 17, may remove the species from area menus for an extended period, because the stocks aren't up to snuff with federal stock-rebuilding mandates. The federal government, which says size and bag limits are not working, accepted public comments about the proposed closure through 5 August.A National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman said, despite a big year class that's yielding promising catches, stocks are in "pretty bad shape." NMFS has scheduled an updated stock assessment for red snapper for next year.NMFS already announced it would shut down the recreational and commercial shallow-water grouper fishery in south Atlantic federal waters from January through April. The recreational vermilion snapper fishery will close from November through March. On 6 August at New York's Fulton Fish Market, fresh whole red snappers were commanding USD 5.50 to 6 a pound (EUR 3.84 to 4.19) for 1- to 2-pound fish, USD 5.50 to 5.60 (EUR 3.84 to 3.91) for 2- to 4-pound fish and USD 5 to 5.50 (EUR 3.49 to 3.84) for 4- to 6-pound fish.
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