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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

Oct. 13, 2011

Recreational fishing for black sea bass closes Monday, Oct. 17

The recreational annual catch limit for black sea bass has been reached, and the fishery will close in federal and state waters along the South Carolina coast effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. The fishery will remain closed until June 1, 2012.

In 2006, black sea bass in the southeastern region were determined to be overfished (population is too low) and continued to experience overfishing (rate of removal is too high). In response, a plan was implemented to end overfishing, allowing black sea bass population to begin rebuilding. This 10-year plan to rebuild the black sea bass fishery established annual catch limits of 309,000 pounds for the commercial sector and 409,000 pounds for recreational anglers.

The 2011-2012 fishing season began on June 1, 2011. In mid-June, the recreational creel limit was reduced from 15 to 5 fish per person per day in an attempt to extend the period that the fishery would remain open. The commercial fishery for black sea bass closed July 15 when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Service projected that the quota of 309,000 pounds had been reached. Prior to the season, the recreational quota of 409,000 pounds was reduced to 341,747 pounds to account for over-harvest during the previous fishing season.

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