- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (AP) - New catch limits are taking effect in North Carolina coastal waters to protect a game fish prized for its meat and fighting tenacity.

The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission restrictions taking effect Monday could allow anglers to keep catching cobia this summer.

State fisheries professionals had recommended closing cobia fishing in state waters on June 20, the same day a ban on catching the fish takes effect in federal waters north of the Georgia-Florida border. That drastic decision was taken after anglers last year blew past an annual catch limit for the fish that along with tuna are the main draw for charter boat customers.

The state restrictions effect cobia catches up to three miles from shore. The federal ban kicks in from that point to 200 miles offshore.

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