With Massachusetts and New Hampshire onboard, at least one other coastal New England state is tracking the federal lawsuit that accuses NOAA of wanton disregard for the catastrophic economic impact its catch quota policies have inflicted on the region’s fishing communities.
A spokeswoman for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin said that office has been monitoring the lawsuit’s progress and has not ruled out the possibility of joining the action as a means of protecting the state’s commercial fishing industry and the communities in which it operates.
”Rhode Island has not signed on to the lawsuit, but we continue to closely monitor the status of that case,” said spokeswoman Amy Kemp.
The office of Maine Attorney General Janet T. Mills did not respond to several requests for comment, and a spokesman for Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said the state has not been approached by Massachusetts about joining the lawsuit.
That could change soon.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, now also a candidate for governor, said at a Gloucester campaign stop Wednesday that she is pleased New Hampshire signed on as a co-plaintiff and plans to speak with the three remaining coastal New England states about joining the action.