Sport Fishermen Challenge Grouper Ban

By: Assocaited Press
By: Assocaited Press

Tampa, FL (AP) - A sport fishermen's group is asking a federal
judge to block a six-month ban on gag grouper fishing in the Gulf
of Mexico imposed by the U.S. government.

The Fishing Rights Alliance filed a lawsuit in federal court in
Tampa on Monday to stop the action by the National Marine Fisheries
Service. The six-month ban is scheduled to begin Jan. 1 and could
be extended to a year if necessary.

The federal agency charged with managing fisheries says the ban
is necessary to bolster the population of the gag grouper, which is
valued for its white, flaky meat.

The lawsuit says the agency's data is faulty and the ban is
unnecessary.

The commercial quota for the gag grouper has also been reduced.

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


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