12/04/2009 - The federal government announced a six-month ban on fishing for red snapper Thursday that could be followed by far wider restrictions on Southeastern fishing.
Commercial fishermen and sportsmen are covered by the ban, which starts Jan. 4. It affects federal waters – areas more than three miles offshore – from Florida's east coast to North Carolina.
The rule is supposed to be a stopgap while government agencies consider setting more sweeping, long-term restrictions in response to government research that estimates the stock of red snapper in the Southeast is just 3 percent of what it was in the 1950s.
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An endorsement of the ban came quickly Thursday from the Pew Environment Group, an arm of the Pew Charitable Trusts that has argued snapper could almost entirely vanish without new protections.
The group's Southeastern campaign manager, Holly Binns, called the decision "an important first step."
Read the full article Feds Ban Fishing for Red Snapper for Six Months on the St. Augustine Record's Web site.