NOAA officials, saying they want to provide relief to fishermen dealing with a federally declared "economic disaster" and 2013 fishing year cuts of up to 78 percent in their landing limits, have formally launched proposals to open portions of previously closed fishing areas in the waters off Cape Cod and Nantucket.
But the proposal — which is now open to public comment — comes with some strings attached, notably a requirement that any fishermen accessing newly opened areas cover the cost of on-board monitors who must accompany every fishing trip inside those regions.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its proposal Tuesday to open some areas to groundfish fishing that have been off limits for nearly 20 years.
NOAA spokeswoman Maggie Mooney-Seus said Tuesday that the areas that would be opened under the change would includes parts — but not all — of Areas I and II and the Nantucket Light Ship area.
Mooney-Seus said NOAA will be taking comments on all sides of the issue for the next "month or so," then will look to address any issues and move forward.
"The goal is to get this done as fast as we can this year," said Mooney-Seus.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>