PLYMOUTH – They called it a “fisheries policy action,” but in the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor lobby, where they gathered, it was clearly a cry for help.

Dozens of local fisherman, from Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and even New Orleans – most wearing bright orange “Who Fishes Matters” shirts – joined voices to produce a wail of dismay over regional fishing policies that they believe are eradicating both the fish and community-based fishing. “Who Fishes Matters” is a slogan of the North Atlantic Marine Alliance.

Fishermen like Ed Barrett, skipper of the Plymouth-based fishing vessel (F/V) Phoenix, whose voice cracked as he spoke outside the conference room after a large group of fisherman had walked out of a meeting of the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC).

“A stock that was almost fully recovered in 2009 was a disaster in 2012. It took two years to turn 15 years of hard sacrifices to rebuild stocks to put them in the toilet,” Barrett said, stammering with emotion.

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