Red Snappers to Become Protected Species

Two-spot red snapper (Lutjanus bohar)Photo: Mohammed Al Momany

A temporary ban on fishing for red snapper may become permanent in Florida. The ban went into effect after a report was published in 2008 stating the species was overfished.

fishermanPhoto: babasteve

Boat operators and commercial fisherman aren’t too happy about it because they say they have to throw back the red snapper they catch, yet they don’t then have any fish to take for the time they spent catching them.

Red SnapperPhoto: DrunkCat

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council wants to ban fishing of even more snapper species, and fish that are accidentally caught alongside red snapper.

Some fisherman say the ban is hurting their business. Research says there may not be enough fish left to sustainably catch. Because of this there is considerable friction on the subject of how many fish are left and how many can be caught. If all snapper stocks are depleted though, and with the Gulf oil disaster likely to have a negative impact on fish around the Florida coastline, anything that helps the fish is probably going to be for the best.

Red Snappers for salePhoto: lsgcp

Additionally, Congress is considering a jobs creation act to help the fishermen who have seen their incomes fall as the snappers’ numbers have been depleted.

red snapperPhoto: jon hanson

There are even some areas where the ban may be repealed on the Eastern US seaboard, because reportedly only 3 percent of the red snapper population still lives there.

Ulimtaely, short-term thinking just isn’t going to cut it.

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