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Red grouper restriction adopted for state waters

Associated Press
Published December 3, 2005

NAPLES - The number of red grouper that recreational fishermen will be able to keep from state waters has been reduced.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission adopted a rule Thursday reducing the bag limit from two fish a day to one. This matches a bag limit in federal waters, which begin 9 nautical miles offshore.

The change was made because regulators say grouper are being overfished, far beyond the 1.25-million-pound annual quota for recreational fishermen.

The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted last month to lower the red grouper bag limit in federal waters to one fish and to close the recreational catch from Feb. 15 to March 15, matching an existing closure for commercial boats. The proposal is under review by the National Marine Fisheries Service.

The state bag limit will take effect sometime in early January, depending on how quickly attorneys can make it official.

[Last modified December 3, 2005, 01:21:14]

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