NEWPORT, R.I. — The group convened Wednesday morning in the lobby of the Newport Marriott and included about 20 fishermen, fishing advocates and officials from the state Department of Marine Fisheries.


The setting was casual and the goal was simple: Find some common ground between the desires of the fishermen to fish and that of the regulators to implement more cod spawning protection in the Gulf of Maine.


"It was more of a negotiation than anything else," said Vito Giacalone, policy director of the Northeast Seafood Coalition. "It wasn't always easy."


Meeting or negotiation, it really didn't matter.


What did matter was that, when the New England Fishery Management Council voted several long hours later on area closings, it handed groundfishermen from Massachusetts and New Hampshire the first — albeit small — victory they've had in quite some time.


After defeating an initial motion that would have uniformly and concurrently instituted spawning closures in four prime fishing areas that surround Gloucester, the council opted for another series of seasonal closures that at least hold out a chance of survival to the imperiled groundfishermen.


Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>


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