NOAA to reimburse for monitoring costs

Deviating from plans that had caused an uproar, federal fishing regulators plan to announce Thursday that some of the fishing industry’s costs for groundfish monitoring will be reimbursed this year.

The at-sea monitoring program places regulators onboard vessels and in March the federal government started shifting the cost for the monitoring onto the fishing industry, according to Northeast Seafood Coalition Executive Director Jackie Odell.

“The fishery’s just not in a profitable place to be taking on this additional burden,” Odell told the News Service. She said, “There are some boats that are going out, but it’s a mixed bag.”

A memo dated Thursday from a National Marine Fisheries Service official sent to congressional offices and obtained by the News Service said the federal regulators anticipate federal funds can cover at-sea monitoring for about 85 percent of the days at sea for the current fishing year. The memo cautioned that the agency does not “expect this situation to recur in future fishing years.”

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About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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