NY Times on fisherman Mark Marhefka's woes 

Fishing ban on grouper, red snapper

The New York Times filed a field report from Charleston yesterday. Reporter Christine Muhlke talked to fisherman Mark Marhefka of Abundant Seafoods who is caught "in the perfect storm of nature, business, and government."

After a year of wrangling, the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (SAFMC) voted to close fishing for shallow-water species, which includes red snapper and grouper, two of the most popular local catches. The four-month ban went into effect on Jan. 1 and will have a big effect on the dining scene across the Southeast.

In June, fishing will reopen but with new limits on how much of these species can be caught.

In the meantime, fishermen like Mark Marhefka and Mark Brown in Charleston and Reese Hair in Murrels Inlet are feeling the pinch — and so are diners at places like Fish, the Boathouse, Red Drum, Carolina's, and McCrady's. Grouper and snapper are familiar and popular with diners across the Lowcountry. But who knows? Perhaps we'll start eating more triggerfish.

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