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Fish catch limits vote expected today

Aug 8, 2011 8:09:00 PM - thestate.com
A vote today by fishery managers to set annual catch limits on dolphin fish, wahoo, cobia and dozens of species probably won’t affect local recreational fishermen, anglers say. However, decisions earlier this year by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, such as a moratorium on red snapper and lower bag limits on black sea bass — from 15 per person per day down to five — have been opposed by local fishermen.

Local anglers have advocated dividing the southeast region, which stretches from North Carolina to Florida, and creating restrictions that take into account local fish stocks.

Fisherman Collins Doughtie of Bluffton said the moratorium on red snapper may work for south Florida, but in local waters, “there are more red snapper than I’ve ever seen — and I’ve lived here my entire life.”

Holly Binns, director of southeast and Caribbean fish conservation campaigns for the nonprofit Pew Environment Group, said some proposals that will be voted on Tuesday could affect local fishermen, among them:

Recreational fishermen would be barred from selling dolphin fish they catch. Such a ban is already in place for snapper-grouper species.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)