POST & COURIER | Georgetown Hole plan would ban bottom fishing across 15 square miles

Offshore fishing interests are urged to email comments opposing the closure of the Georgetown Hole and other areas ASAP to [email protected] before it's too late.

“A federal plan is in development to put bottom fishing off limits across 15 square miles of the fabled Georgetown Hole, among eight other fish-spawning bottoms in the Southeast.

…On Monday, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council staff began a final round of public meetings. A final council vote is expected by December. One version or another of the sanctuaries would be put off limits in July 2016. The total area could be as much as nearly 80 square miles. The public can provide input and comment until the end of August.

…The Council for Sustainable Fishing, an advocacy group for seafood business interests in the South Carolina and neighboring states, opposes it, because the sanctuaries would put hundreds more acres off-limits to bottom fishing, ‘despite nearly 700 square miles of existing deep-water Marine Protected Areas in which bottom fishing is prohibited.’

Farther offshore, nearly 24,000 square miles of existing deep-water coral also have bottom fishing restrictions, the council noted on its website. ‘There is no plan in place to evaluate and monitor the effectiveness of these existing closed areas, much less any new areas,’ said the posting.”

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Council for Sustainable Fishing