The region's largest industry group today urged the federal government to adopt a series of emergency interim catch limits for Gulf of Maine cod and other groundfish stocks for 2013 to avoid dooming the industry, already the subject of a disaster declaration, to "life-altering losses."
The proposal by the Northeast Seafood Coalition was sent to the chairman of the New England Fishery Management Council in advance of a special meeting scheduled for Wakefield on Thursday to set catch limits for the fishing year that begins May 1, 2013.
The draconian cuts on the agenda for Thursday's meeting are predicated on acceding to general mandates of the Magnuson-Stevens Act to immediately end overfishing. Examples include Gulf of Maine haddock facing a 46 percent cut, Georges Bank yellowtail flounder a 74 percent cut, Cape Cod and Gulf of Maine yellowtail, a 30 percent cut, and witch flounder a 27 percent cut.
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