Agency OKs fishing ban on Atlantic red snapper

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) - Commercial fishermen and charter boat
captains say they're bracing for economic devastation after a
federal agency voted to ban red snapper fishing in the southern
Atlantic Ocean for six months.

The ban approved Thursday by the South Atlantic Fishery
Management Council will likely take effect this summer. It will
affect commercial and recreational fishermen on the East Coast from
Florida to North Carolina.

The council imposed the ban during its quarterly meeting at
Jekyll Island after federal scientists warned the population of
Atlantic snapper has dwindled from 50 years of overfishing.

Fishermen say size and catch limits for red snapper imposed in
1992 are working and the fish seem abundant. Those who rely on red
snapper say the ban could doom businesses already struggling with
the turbulent economy.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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