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Environmental Groups Suing Trump Administration for Extending Red Snapper Season

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Two different environmental groups have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to block any further extension of the Red Snapper fishing season. The Advocate reports that Chris Dorsett of the Ocean Conservancy and Robert Jones of the Environmental Defense Fund have filed this lawsuit to “prompt discussions about improvements.”

This all started when the Trump administration announced they would allow states to make their own decisions when it came to setting seasonal limits on weekend fishing by recreational anglers in federal waters.  States were to weigh economic benefit against harm to the red snapper species, which is still recovering from disastrous over-fishing. In this case, it was decided that the damage was negligible compared to the economic boon.

No state agencies are being sued.  Instead, the suit names Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and two department agencies, the National Marine Fisheries Service and its parent agency, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as defendants.  The environmental groups claim that reopening federal waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for three-day weekends through Labor Day, plus three holidays, could set the long-calculated target re-population date from 2032 to 2038.

The groups seek to enact change, and with this lawsuit hope to prevent extensions of this sort in the future.

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