By: AP
By: AP

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - Alabama's gill net fishermen have declined by nearly 40 percent since a law was passed in 2008 that offered cash payouts to fishermen who give up their licenses.

State records reviewed by the Press-Register show 40 of the 139
gill net fishermen took the buyout the first year. Since then, 13 more fishermen have permanently lost their right to net fish. State officials say 86 people are eligible to purchase licenses for the coming year.

Alabama is the only Gulf Coast state that allows year-round gill net fishing with no limits on the amount of fish harvested. Use of the nets is controversial because it is impossible to control what swims into them.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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