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National park near Miami may ban fish harvests

Created: 08/07/2014 10:21 AM
By: JENNIFER KAY

BISCAYNE NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) — Commercial fishing in national parks has spawned a new debate, as federal officials seek to ban the practice in Biscayne National Park offshore from suburban Miami.

Park Superintendent Brian Carlstrom says the maritime park, which is 95 percent underwater, has been overfished for a long time. Officials say cutting off commercial fishing will help improve the numbers and sizes of fish swimming through the park.

Current permit holders would be allowed to continue fishing until they choose not to, and then their permits would expire. No new commercial fishing permits would be issued.

Critics say the National Park Service's plan just adds to the bureaucracy governing the marine parks, preserves and sanctuaries between Miami and Key West. They say the real problem is poor water quality, not overfishing.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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