Plan to reopen New England fishing spots debated

BOSTON (AP) — A plan to allow certain New England fishermen back into fishing grounds where they’ve long been banned was so objectionable to environmentalists that two groups sued to kill it months before it was officially released.

And after the proposal was unveiled last week, fishermen who once backed the idea called the plan a useless gesture that does nothing for their struggling industry.

None of the criticism surprises the Northeast’s top fishing regulator, John Bullard. But he says it doesn’t mean the proposal to reopen 3,000 square miles of Atlantic Ocean can’t work.

“We recognize it’s probably not going to make anyone happy,” Bullard said. But, he added, “We think it’s a responsible way to make abundant stocks accessible to people.”

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