Grouper Closure Ends Saturday

A ban on commercial grouper fishing in the Gulf ends on Saturday, and fishermen say boats unable to pull in fish since November are ready to resume their catch.

Commercial fleets have been unable to take the popular eating fish since November 15 when federal officials closed the Gulf to commercial grouper fishing.

Some fishermen are expecting a surge in grouper catch next week that could deflate prices.

The closure was triggered because scientists said the 2004 red grouper quota of 5.3 million pounds would be reached around mid-November.

Recreational fishermen were not affected by the ban.