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Feds to allow South Atlantic red snapper fishing after lobbying by Rubio and Nelson



Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson lobbied the Commerce Department to let South Florida anglers fish for red snapper in July, and now the federal government is implementing a short 2017 season for red snapper off the South Atlantic coast.

Recreational anglers can now fish for red snapper in the South Atlantic during the next two weekends while commercial fishers can begin harvesting red snapper on November 2 until the end of the year. This year marks the longest red snapper statewide since 2013 and the first time red snapper fishing was opened off the South Atlantic since 2014. 

"This fall’s new Red Snapper season will benefit Florida fishermen and small businesses," Rubio's office said in a tweet. 

The federal government has jurisdiction over red snapper fishing in federal waters, which begin nine miles offshore on the Gulf Coast and three miles offshore on the Atlantic coast. Closer to shore, the state of Florida regulates recreational red snapper fishing.

Recreational red snapper fishing will be allowed from Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12 in waters off the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina after the Commerce Department issued its decision.