Posted by Doug Wahl - email
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced a temporary ban on commercial and recreational fishing for red snapper.
The ban applies in federal waters off North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and the Atlantic coast of Florida.
The six-month rule goes into effective January 4, 2010 and can be extended an additional six months if necessary.
According to the NOAA's website, South Atlantic red snapper populations are currently at very low levels (over fished), and are being harvested at too high a rate.
While red snappers can live more than 50 years, an environmental group says few are older than 10 and are being caught before their best spawning years.