It takes a lot to bring Democrats and Republicans together on any issue in these days of heightened, highly partisan politics. It seems, however, that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has done the trick.

Sixth District U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and 16 of his fellow New England congressmen — 12 Democrats, four Republicans and an independent — united last week to call on the agency to delay or call off its plans to force fishing vessel permit holders to pay to have someone looking over their shoulder as they work.

The so-called onboard monitoring program, where a federal observer rides along on fishing trips, is estimated to cost about $710 per day, per vessel. And NOAA expects fishermen to foot the bill. It’s an additional expense — the very definition of an unfunded mandate — that could put permit holders out of business for good.

Read the full story at Gloucester Daily Times >>

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