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Club records confirm snapper boom.

Recently I put together a position paper in support of H.R. 1584 and S.1255, Flexibility in Rebuilding American Fisheries Act of 2009 (which would revise the Magnuson-Stevens Act). Plus, I wanted to disprove that red snapper are disappearing along our coast.

My data sets are unique in that it's been collected by Florida Sport Fishing Association (FSFA) members for the last 42 consecutive years. Our fishing area covers roughly from Ponce Inlet to Sebastian Inlet on the East Coast, but is consistent with continental shelf habitat that ranges into the Carolinas.

A quick synopsis: Catch records show that from 1968-1974 red snapper availability to our members was strong. From 1975 to the early 2000s, catches were down significantly, although fishing pressure from our members remained constant. Throughout all 42 years of data we've collected, the best red snapper years were the first seven and the last seven. The most consistent years were the last five.

In 2005, we saw a boom in red snapper catches that continued throughout 2009. We feel the two-fish limit and 20-inch minimum enacted close to 8 years ago is directly related to the recovery we've seen in recent years. To have this thriving fishery shut down, based on SEDAR data where years of results were "extrapolated," is unfathomable. Read the complete 34-page paper at www.fsfaclub.org and click on "FSFA and the Red Snapper Ban."

David Werner

Melbourne

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Title Annotation:LETTERS & E-MAILS
Author:Werner, David
Publication:Florida Sportsman
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Apr 1, 2010
Words:236
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