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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on red snapper season lawsuit (all times local):
The head of a recreational anglers' group says two environmental groups sued the Trump administration for reopening the red snapper season for recreational anglers because suing is what environmental groups do.
David Cresson of the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana says environmental groups "hate it when Americans enjoy America's plentiful public resources."
The Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund say in their suit that the decision ignored scientific assessments and promotes overfishing.
Cresson says the quotas are based on poor data and unfair allocations.
A commercial fishing group called the Shareholders' Alliance says its members share many of the concerns described in the lawsuit.
Deputy director Eric Brazer says he thinks the decision to reopen the recreational season will "set the clock back quite a ways on red snapper."
Two environmental groups are suing the Trump administration for stretching the red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico.
The government said the economic benefit from allowing weekend fishing by recreational anglers this summer outweighs the harm to the red snapper species, which is still recovering from disastrous overfishing.
The lawsuit says the decision broke the law by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures, such as giving adequate notice and time for public comment before making changes.
The Ocean Conservancy and Environmental Defense Fund sued Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Monday in federal court in Washington.
The Commerce Department last month gave anglers 39 more days to fish for red snapper, reopening federal waters off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida for three-day weekends through Labor Day, plus three holidays.
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