Judge upholds red snapper quotas for anglers, charter boats
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge has upheld a new rule allocating separate red snapper quotas for recreational anglers and licensed charter captains.
U.S. District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo ruled Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by a nonprofit group of recreational anglers and three of its 120,000 members. The Coastal Conservation Association said its members would be hurt because anglers could take fewer red snapper.
Milazzo wrote that the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council gave a "rational justification for its decision." She says the record shows that a shorter federal season for private anglers is offset by their ability to go after the fish in state waters, where charter captains cannot work.
The Environmental Defense Fund applauds the ruling.
The Coastal Conservation Association did not immediately return a call for comment.