Monday, Jul. 17, 2017

2 groups sue feds for extending anglers' red snapper season

By By JANET McCONNAUGHEY

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two environmental groups are suing the Trump administration for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico.

The government said the economic benefit from allowing weekend fishing by recreational anglers this summer outweighs the harm to the red snapper species, which is still recovering from disastrous overfishing.

The lawsuit says the decision broke the law by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures, such as giving adequate notice and time for public comment before making changes.

The Ocean Conservancy and Environmental Defense Fund sued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday in federal court in Washington.

The Commerce Department last month gave anglers 39 more days to fish for red snapper, reopening federal waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for three-day weekends through Labor Day, plus three holidays.

2017-07-17 14:52:37 GMT

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