SAFA News   |    The South Atlantic Fishermen's Association

Future of red grouper to be decided in the upcoming months

September 8, 2011

Red grouper have recently been labeled as overfished in the South Atlantic, and fishermen are worried that the red grouper fishery will have the same fate as the red snapper fishery: a complete shutdown.

In the next few months, the South Atlantic Fishery Management council will hold public hearings to discuss the future management of the red grouper fishery, which calls for reversing overfishing and increasing the red grouper population to a sustainable level within the next 10 years. 

Although there has been no plan to close the red grouper fishery, new catch limits are certainly not out of the question.  To some fishermen and scientists, this is a valid case as it is rare to bag a red grouper these days.  The very same fishermen argue that, on the other hand, the red snapper fishery is healthy and should be re-opened.  According to the captain of Tight Work, "[red snapper] are a nuisance now" as they are being caught but forced to be released.  NOAA will not consider the ban on red snapper for another two years after a stock assessment has been completed. 


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