Protecting the Snowy Grouper

Wilmington, NC – The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is considering a move to block commercial deepwater fishing from an area 60 miles southwest of Southport.

The 10-mile by 10-mile Marine Protected Area covers what's called the Snowy Wreck, a known habitat of the snowy grouper.

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council's Carrie O'Malley says many commercial fishermen support the move.

They've seen how leaving an area alone, such as a wreck or a reef, if it's left alone after a period of time or say newly discovered after not having been fished, how fish can aggregate on that site, and that there are other places to fish.

O'Malley says the fishery council seeks to protect the snowy grouper along with other species of grouper and snapper because they have difficulty surviving the release after getting caught in nets.