In the Gulf of Mexico, federal authorities have allowed a short season for fishermen to catch red snapper, a popular game fish. On our side of the state, the regulators haven't budged: The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, which regulates federal waters from the North Carolina-Virginia line down to the Florida Keys, is still forbidding both commercial and recreational fishermen from taking red snapper.
We believe the moratorium, instituted in 2010, is overly restrictive and should be revisited. The council should seek more input from the fishing industry, and it also should take into account views from a wider range of scientists. There is good reason to believe the red snapper population in the South Atlantic is healthier than regulators' estimates indicate.