03/22/2009 - On the docks at Ponce Inlet, the chance to hook a red snapper lures tourists to the Sea Spirit, a deep-sea party boat.
The fish is a key part of Florida's $4.4 billion recreational-fishing industry.
Yet the red snapper population has thinned, scientists say, to about 3 percent of a healthy stock. To keep it from being wholly depleted, the federal government could ban red-snapper fishing in the Atlantic for six months from Florida to North Carolina.
* * *
The ban is necessary to avoid a collapse of the red-snapper fishery, said Holly Binns, manager of The Pew Charitable Trusts campaign to end overfishing in the Southeast. "Overall, the fishery is in serious jeopardy, and the risk is the long-term health of the red-snapper fishery," she said.
Read the full article Feds, Florida Anglers Battle Over Red-Snapper Ban on the Orlando Sentinel's Web site.