Alabama opens red snapper fishing in state waters

Fresh red snapper is iced and ready for sale at Aquila Seafood in Bon Secour, Ala., Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Aching from an oil spill hangover and a decade of problems, Alabama's commercial seafood industry is fighting for survival. Sales are down about 10 percent to $146 million in the two years since the BP gusher, according to an Auburn University study obtained by The Associated Press. The downturn, which represented nearly $16 million in lost sales, was all the worse since it followed years of hurricanes, spiking fuel prices and foreign competition that left few fishing boats around industry hubs like the Bon Secour River off Mobile Bay. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama state waters will be open to fishing for red snapper and gray triggerfish every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in July.

Bentley said Thursday that the extra fishing days will be good for the Gulf coast economy.

The federal red snapper season was only nine days. Alabama’s director of marine resources, Chris Blankenship, says state officials believe there are still enough red snapper in Alabama waters to open an additional season. The minimum size for snapper will be 16 inches total length.

Alabama law extends state waters to nine miles offshore for fisheries management. The federal government only recognizes three miles. State officials say fishermen possessing red snapper and gray triggerfish between three miles and nine miles offshore could get a federal citation.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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