Environmental Groups Sue Over Snapper Season

Jul 18, 2017

Many saw the recent extension of the federal red snapper season as a boon for many industries on Alabama's gulf coast. But the measure isn’t popular with everyone.

Two environmental groups are suing the federal government for extending the season. The lawsuit filed by the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund says the decision broke the law by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures like providing adequate notice and time for public comment before making changes.

The federal red snapper season had been set at just three days. Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department gave anglers 39 more days throughout the summer to fish for red snapper in the Gulf Coast.

Government officials say the economic benefit of allowing weekend fishing by recreational anglers this summer outweighs the harm to the red snapper population, which is still recovering from disastrous overfishing.