WASHINGTON — The old proverb, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," might apply to 2015 red snapper legislation.

Earlier this week, Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, who contends recreational fishers are being shortchanged with only 10-day red snapper fishing seasons in the Gulf, withdraw an amendment that would have transferred authority to set the seasons from a federal agency to a new consortium of five Gulf states, including Louisiana. He did so because his amendment was likely to be defeated, given opposition from leaders of the House Natural Resources Committee.

The bill had been subject of furious lobbying by opponents, led by commercial fishing associations and the National Restaurant Association. The restaurant group warned shorter fishing seasons for commercial fishers would jeopardize availability of popular seafood menu items.

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Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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