BOSTON — The state attorney general of Massachusetts filed suit against federal fishing regulators Thursday in an attempt to block new rules that she called a "death sentence" for New England's fleet.
The filing by Attorney General Martha Coakley comes four weeks after major new cuts in catch limits for bottom-dwelling groundfish went into effect May 1.
The most significant cut is a 78 percent year-to-year reduction in the catch of Gulf of Maine cod, but fishermen have also absorbed huge reductions in key flounder and haddock species.
Fishermen say they aren't allowed to catch enough fish to stay in business.
"I am in financial ruin," said Gloucester fisherman Joe Orlando, who stood with industry advocates and Coakley at the Boston Fish Pier when Coakley announced the suit.
The suit alleges that though regulators at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledge the cuts will be devastating, they haven't met legal requirements to mitigate them. It also charges regulators with using flawed science to back overly restrictive rules.
"The federal government has shown a callous disregard for the well-being of Massachusetts fishing families," Coakley said.
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.