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NOAA ups observers in commercial snapper-grouper fishery

"Red Grouper" by NOAA Ocean Exploration & Research is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The federal government plans to increase observation of the commercial snapper-grouper fishery from North Carolina to east Florida, with an eye to improving population assessments. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries division says this applies to all boats licensed to catch fish in that fishery. It's made up of 55 species, including snappers, groupers, porgies, triggerfish, jacks, tilefishes, grunts, spadefishes, wrasses, and sea basses. NOAA Fisheries says vessels will be randomly selected and notified in advance that they will be observed. Information gathered will verify coastal logbook catch rates, counts, and measurements of discarded fish, and the catch per unit effort for the commercial sector.