Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Red snapper lawsuit: judge orders rebuilding

In a major legal victory, the Ocean Conservancy and partners won a federal court order for a credible red snapper rebuilding plan within 9 months.

This lawsuit followed decades of failure as managers refused to end overfishing and kept putting off the necessary task of rebuilding this severely depleted fish. Conservation advocates have been beating their heads against a wall and finally filed this lawsuit in 2005 after managers once again delayed rebuilding efforts.

Red snapper would be rebuilt by now if modest fishing cutbacks had been implemented in the late 1980s, when problems first became apparent. But now the pain will be much more severe. It didn't have to happen this way.

Stay tuned as managers begin the difficult task of rebuilding. Let's all help invest in rebuilding by supporting those doing the hard work.

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