Yellowtail closure has Keys fishermen steaming

A closure of the commercial yellowtail-snapper fishery in federal waters definitely will occur just after midnight Monday.  State and federal fishing managers apparently agree that the stock estimate used to set the species’ 1.14-million-pound annual catch limit, as required by federal law, widely underestimated the yellowtail population. “It’s not question of overfishing,” Peter Bacle of the Stock Island Lobster Co. said. “With yellowtail, I’m not sure that’s possible.”

“This closure could not come at a more inopportune time – right when demand and prices are going up,” said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.

“The stock assessment is highly favorable,” Kelly said. “It says yellowtail are not overfished, and that it’s actually an ‘underutilized species’…There’s more yellowtail out there than ever.”    Read more.

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