BOSTON — The acting U.S. Commerce Secretary on Friday ordered federal regulators to return about $544,000 in unjust fines collected from 14 fishermen or fishing businesses, most of whom worked Northeast waters.
Secretary Rebecca Blank also directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to forgive two other complainants a combined $150,000 in debt.
Her decisions followed the second phase of a lengthy probe into charges by New England fishermen of abusive, unfair treatment by the officers and attorneys who enforce the nation's fishing laws.
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The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats as well as applications from scientists interested in serving on its Scientific and Statistical Committee.
The North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA), a nonprofit trade association representing commercial fishermen, seafood dealers and processors, recently announced a new leadership team. Incorporated in 1952, its administrative office is in Bayboro, N.C.