An e-newsletter from the Recreational Fishing Alliance criticizes the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's 9-4 vote this week in favor of closing nearly 5,000 square miles of fishing grounds to all forms of bottom fishing.
The wide-scale ban was deemed necessary in order to protect red snapper being caught as bycatch by recreational fishermen while targeted other snapper and grouper species in the area which stretches from northern Florida to the Carolinas, encompassing depths of anywhere from 98 to 240 feet, extending out from approximately 3-1/2 miles to upwards of 230 miles.
"The [council] has ignored their sworn duty to follow the law (to use best available science) and passed this unwarranted regulation," said David Heil a representative of RFA Florida and RFA's legal counsel in an ongoing suit against the Secretary of Commerce on behalf of red snapper anglers.
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