Photograph shows the wreckfish Polyprion atlanticus, swimming elegantly in the
deep-sea near the Lophelia reefs on the Blake Plateau at 450 m off North Carolina
coast. This may become the target of over-fishing and may be pushed to the brink
of extinction or declared a threatened species unless we take precautionary
management strategies to protect the standing stock. This deep-sea fish is also
known to use Lophelia reefs as nursery grounds just as groupers and snapper use
Oculina reef as spawning grounds off Florida. We do not wish to see that
wreckfish faces the fate of overfishing as the orange roughy in the Tasmanian   
seamounts. The management plans of South Atlantic Fisheries Management
Council (SAFMC) must be applauded for restricting the number of wreckfish boats
off South Carolina in the nineties. GIBS is now preparing a status report on the
health of wreckfish stock and recommendations to SAFMC for further restrictions
near Lophelia reefs in the deep-sea off southeastern United States from Florida in
the south to North Carolina.

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