Friday, December 04, 2009

RED SNAPPER - interim rule for the next 6 months

As of January 4th, you are not allowed to target or keep Red Snappers off the coasts of N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia, and the Atlantic coast of Florida.
This news came out Wednesday.

The council hopes to recommend a long-term closure measure in mid-2010.

Coincidentally, I received a letter TODAY from Governor Charlie Crists' office. Here it is in its entirety. I have no idea where this leaves us.

Thank you for contacting Governor Charlie Crist's Office and sharingyour concerns about recent decisions by the South Atlantic FisheryManagement Council ("the Council"). The Governor wants to know how people feel about the many critical issues we face and asked that Irespond on his behalf.Governor Crist supports the Council's efforts to protect our precious natural resources; however, the Governor believes this action will haveserious ramifications for Florida's recreational anglers and our economy. The requirement to establish strict catch limits for all federally managed species that are undergoing "overfishing" by 2010 is affecting Florida in ways that were not anticipated. A closure effectively puts Florida's fishermen out of work in an already challenging economic time and would severely diminish the multi-million dollar annual contribution the South Atlantic fishery makes to Florida'seconomy.Governor Crist has contacted Charles Davis, Chairman of the SouthAtlantic Fishery Management Council to encourage a prompt review of the science used to validate the Council's decisions in the fishery management process. The Governor also contacted U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and asked that the Department do everything possible to lessen the impact on Florida's anglers while still protecting our natural resources. Governor Crist firmly believes that a fishery-wide closure must be a last resort only after all other options have been exhausted. Thank you again for taking the time to contact Governor Crist. Please do not hesitate to write again to share your concerns and ideas about issues that are important to you.

Warren DavisOffice of Citizen Services

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