Fri., December 10, 2010 1:05pm (EST)

Red Snapper Rules Reversed
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 4 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Fishermen in Georgia and Florida opposed a plan to eliminate bottom fishing.  They said it would cripple their industry.  Now the bottom fishing ban is gone while a red snapper ban remains in federal plans to protect the fish species.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
Fishermen in Georgia and Florida opposed a plan to eliminate bottom fishing. They said it would cripple their industry. Now the bottom fishing ban is gone while a red snapper ban remains in federal plans to protect the fish species. (photo Orlando Montoya)
Federal fishery managers have dropped plans to close about 5,000 square miles of Atlantic ocean to bottom fishing as part of a red snapper recovery plan.

Officials with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council say, new scientific findings show the closure is not needed for the species' recovery.

Fishermen worried, a closure would cripple their industry.

Bottom fishing often kills sea life that fishermen don't intend to kill.

However, a major part of the plan -- a moratorium on red snapper fishing -- remains in the council's plan.

That means fishermen can still bottom fish, but they have to throw snapper back if they catch them.