City hosting 'solutions' talks on fisheries

The workshop begins with remarks by Mayor Carolyn Kirk at 9 a.m. at the Gloucester House Restaurant, followed by an overview of the efforts to convince the federal government to allow a second year of interim catch limits, and an easing of the dire May 1 cuts that many see threatening the groundfishing industry that remains rooted in Gloucester.

The regional administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, John Bullard, has said he would not grant the relief — which for the ending year required only a 22 percent cut in Gulf of Maine cod landings, the primary stock harvested by the fleet of mostly day boats operating from the port.

A 77 percent cut — effectively eliminating the landing of inshore cod as anything but a by-catch fishery — is expected to appear in the Federal Register at any time for the new year that begins Wednesday. Bullard said he has been deluged with pleas for relief, but he reiterated at the New England Fishery Management Council meeting that ended on Thursday in Mystic, Conn., that he would resist even President Obama, whom he said he had not yet heard from.

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