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Awash in new closures: a tidal wave of reef fish restrictions sweeps across the state.

As anglers on both coasts stare down the barrel of more reef fish season closures, it's worth remembering that hundreds of square miles of ocean have been closed to all bottom fishing, in some cases all fishing of any kind, in recent years.

It's a scattershot scat·ter·shot  
adj.
Covering a wide range in a random way; indiscriminate: "his habit of scattershot comment on whatever issue catches his eye" Howell Raines.
 approach fisheries managers are taking, with micro-managed decisions made before the impacts of past decisions have been evaluated. The most recent closure is a swath of the Gulf of Mexico Noun 1. Gulf of Mexico - an arm of the Atlantic to the south of the United States and to the east of Mexico
Golfo de Mexico

Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east
 known as The Edges. Here, no fishing is permitted between Jan. 1 through Apr. 30, ostensibly to protect spawning gag grouper. The same rule that enacted The Edges closure took away end dates for the nearby Madison/Swanson and Steamboat Lumps closures. Bizzarely, or should we say predictably, fisheries managers this year implemented a Gulf-wide recreational grouper grouper, common name for a large carnivorous member of the family Serranidae (sea bass family), abundant in tropical and subtropical seas and highly valued as food fish.  season closure from Feb. 1 through Apt. 1. And, they took away an existing one-month commercial season closure, justifying the move by closing The Edges district.

That's right--Gulf commercial fishers can land grouper, smaller ones, too, while sportsmen may not. On and on it goes.

Where YOU Can't Fish

Madison/Swanson Reserve: Closed to all fishing Nov. 1-Apr. 30. Surface trolling allowed May 1-Oct. 31.

GULF WATERS Rec. grouper season closed Feb.-Mar. in Limited summer red snapper season

The Edges: As of June 2009, no fishing Jan. 1-Apr. 30. Overlaps N. edge of Steamboat Lumps, same closure as Madison/Swanson.

Tortugas N. Ecological Zone: 90 square nautical miles closed to all fishing since 2001--plus 46 more added by National Park Service in 2007.

Tortugas S. Ecological Zone: 60 square nautical miles. Has been closed to all fishing since 2001.

North Florida MPA MPA

medroxyprogesterone acetate.
: 100 square miles, closed as of Jan. 2009. No bottom fishing, ever.

ATLANTIC ATLANTIC Cardiology A clinical trial–Angina Treatments–Lasers And Normal Therapies In Comparison  WATERS Fed. waters grouper season Closed Jan-Apr. Vermilion Snapper closed Nov-Mar. Red snapper closure

Oculina Closed Area: 92 square miles closed to bottom fishing since 1994.

St. Lucie Hump MPA: 8 square miles closed year-round to bottom fishing as of Jan. 2009.

Western Sambos Reserve: No fishing of any kind, ever. Part of original Keys Sanctuary, 1997.

East Hump MPA: 50 square miles closed to bottom fishing, as of Jan. 2009.

For coordinates and updates, see www.gulfcouncil.org and www.safmc.net
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Title Annotation:On the Conservation Front: News and commentary from the environmental battlegrounds; Florida
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Sep 1, 2009
Words:372
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