Progress in eliminating bottom trawling

DWhatley

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Outdoors: Protecting deep sea coral important
Richmond Times Dispatch Saturday, July 18, 2015 10:30 pm TEE CLARKSON Special correspondent

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On June 10, the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council voted to approve an amendment that will protect deep-sea corals in 15 zones from Norfolk Canyon in Virginia to Hudson Canyon in New York. If approved by the secretary of commerce, the amendment will create “deep-sea coral zones” in areas where corals have been observed or are likely to be observed, encompassing 38,000 square miles and 24 million acres in an area nearly the size of Virginia.

Fishermen in these areas will not be able to use any type of bottom-tending fishing gear such as trawls, dredges, bottom longlines and traps. Mostly this will affect the squid fishermen along the East Coast who depend on fishing the grounds directly next to the coral protection zones. There will be no impact on recreational anglers in these areas as their baits are coming nowhere near the bottom.
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