Written by Jen Finn
NEW BEDFORD — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Northeast office Wednesday announced it is easing limits on some monkfishing to partially make up for the severe loss of quota on groundfish stocks.
Depending on the permit category, there will be no limit on monkfish possession from May 1 to Oct. 27 and perhaps beyond. The measure applies to the Northern Fishery Management Area, which is everything north of Nantucket.
The measure was requested by the New England Fishery Management Council as one means of easing the blow of sharp new restrictions on cod and yellowtail flounder.
"In recent years, the monkfish fishery has failed to fully harvest the total allowable landings for each year," the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement. "By providing increased fishing opportunities for monkfish in this area, we hope to mitigate the severe quota reductions for some groundfish species in 2013, with little risk of overfishing monkfish."
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