Deadline drawing near for public comment on snapper-fishing ban.
By Nick Carter
Posted Thursday July 16 2009, 2:45 PM
Speak now, or forever hold your peace. A ban on red-snapper fishing off the Georgia coast is in the works, and time is running out for sportsmen to make their voices heard. The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council’s (SAFMC) planned ban on red-snapper fishing off the South Atlantic coast, from North Carolina to Florida, will be open for public comment until Aug. 5.
The 180-day ban on red-snapper fishing, with a potential extension of an additional 186 days, is a stop-gap measure to end what a federally commissioned 2008 stock assessment has presented as overfishing for the species. Permanent regulations would follow.
Coastal anglers have adamantly refuted the findings of the assessment, claiming the data collection for the stock assessment was flawed. They are pushing for further study, as closing the red-snapper fishery would be devastating to those who rely on the coastal fishery to make a living.
Browse the “News” section at the GON website (www.gon.com) for more information on the topic.
The public comment period ends Aug. 5. To submit comments electronically log onto www.regulations.gov enter “NOAA-NMFS-2009-0089” into the search window. Click on the comments link on the left beneath the headline. Send comments by fax to (727) 824-5308. Public comment may be sent by mail to:
NOAA Fisheries Service
Southeast Regional Office
Sustainable Fisheries Division
263 13th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Contact Karla Gore with any questions on how to submit public comment at (727) 551-5753.