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Coakley Sues NOAA Over Catch Limits11:15
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This April 30, 2004 file photograph shows fishing boats docked at the pier in New Bedford, Mass. The U.S. seafood catch reached a 17-year high in 2011, with all fishing regions of the country showing increases in both the volume and value of their harvests. New Bedford, Mass., had the highest-valued catch for the 12th straight year, due largely to its scallop fishery. (Stew Milne/AP)
This April 30, 2004 file photograph shows fishing boats docked at the pier in New Bedford, Mass. The U.S. seafood catch reached a 17-year high in 2011, with all fishing regions of the country showing increases in both the volume and value of their harvests. New Bedford, Mass., had the highest-valued catch for the 12th straight year, due largely to its scallop fishery. (Stew Milne/AP)

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today that she's filing suit against federal regulators over fishing quotas, which she says are a "death sentence" for the Massachusetts fishing industry. For a century, commercial fishermen up and down the coast of Massachusetts have made their living from the seas, most famously chasing schools of cod, haddock and halibut.

But since the mid-1980s, ground fish populations across New England have declined dramatically. Last year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, reported some of the lowest sustainable levels of cod ever — which led to new catch limits on ground fish.

Guests

Curt Nickisch, business and technology reporter at WBUR.

Peter Baker, director of the Northeast Fisheries Program for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

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WBUR, "On Boston’s fish pier Monday, with a newly painted fishing boat as a backdrop, fishermen and Massachusetts politicians railed against the new catch limits — and asked for a reprieve."

The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Recent scientific studies estimate that cod populations are at or near record lows. But this serious problem has not stopped the New England Fishery Management Council from proposing to end protection of their waters off the New England coast, a move that will make it even harder for cod—a fish that helped build the region’s economy—to recover."

This segment aired on May 30, 2013.

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