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Feds Officially Propose Cuts In New England Fish Catch

BOSTON — Federal fisheries managers have officially announced proposed cuts in catch limits that they acknowledge will devastate the New England fleet.

The cuts include a 77 percent year-to-year reduction in the allowed catch of cod in the Gulf of Maine and a 61 percent cut on Georges Bank cod.

Tom Dempsey, a member of the New England Fishery Management Council, said the decision to approve the cuts was painful but necessary, but he also said that the cuts may not do enough to save the current fish stock.

“It doesn’t guarantee that codfish are going come back. Both the Gulf of Maine codfish stock and Georges Bank codfish stock are in bad shape,” Dempsey explained. He cited that Georges Bank only has 7 percent of a healthy codfish stock.

The size of the proposed cuts have been known for weeks, but are now open for public comment until April 15. The 2013 fishing season starts May 1.

The cuts come after poor assessments of the health of cod and other key species. Fishermen say the reductions will force most of the fleet out of business.

Dempsey said fishermen in his home port of Chatham are already struggling.

“We’ve lost 60 to 70 percent of our fishing boats, our groundfishing boats over the last 15 years — just like almost every other port in New England,” he said.

Regulators have offered measures to mitigate the reductions and are also now proposing to allow access to winter flounder in southern New England waters. Regulators say could bring in $5 million in revenues.

With reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

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  • Derrick Tuttle

    When did the government become the enemy of business? I gotta’ stop being idealistic and pay closer attention to reality. No matter what the reason, regulating a 77 percent decrease in revenue in a single year is bad business.
    It’s time to turn the pink slips on Washington. When did they last pass a budget? Let’s cut their salaries 77 percent until they pass a budget. It’s a lot fairer than the way they treat the folks they’re paid to represent.
    Last I checked, fishermen get the job done season after season. Congress could learn a lot from fishermen. Wait. Congress could learn a lot from the average kindergarden student. It amazes me that they seek re-election when they’ve achieved nothing term after term.
    Immediately levy a 77% salary cut for all senators and congressmen. Don’t lift it until they’ve passed three balanced budgets on time.
    The health of my fellow Americans concerns me far more than cod. A sane government would moderate limits on fishing to keep the industry from collapsing. Years from now when the fish are plentiful, there won’t be New England fisherman. Those fish will be sold to us by Cananda. Guess how big our annual trade defecit is with Canada right now … yep, bigger than the one we face with China.
    It is time to cut congress’s salaries for poor work performance.

    • dust truck

      You seem to be under the mistaken impression that the Cod population is infinite. If this decrease did no happen there would be NO cod left for anyone to fish, and then where would you be?

      • Derrick Tuttle

        Still not a fan of eating cod and still not a fan of ineffective regulatory agencies that utterly fail in their charter.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MRJJ5MEAV6AGO4S7MEMJYVQNGA scott

    The fishing industry will be devistated lobbiests are fuking this country the ins lobbiest think everyone should pay 500 each reality is less than 20 % have that kind of extra cash. Why not cut out all ins all lawyers have all dr. work flat rate for the gov . then it would be afordable 100/ month max . The lobbiest have paid Supreme ct off Congrass has the right to raise taxes , The people can not afford , Make ALL lobbiest illegal !

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