NEW BEDFORD — Fishermen are opposing new catch-monitoring costs that could take effect March 1, as a judge’s ruling this week gave the industry a setback in efforts to block the transition from government funding.
John Haran of Dartmouth, manager of a local fishery sector, said in December that transferring the regulatory costs to the fishing industry could put more than 40 local groundfishing boats out of business. Local fishing industry tycoon Carlos Rafael said the costs — potentially about $700 per day, on monitored trips — could mean repeated expenses of $14,000 across 20 groundfishing boats in his fleet.
“If they force that down our throats, the party is over,” Rafael said Thursday, before citing a vintage song. “Good night, Irene – it’s over for everybody.”
Regulators say the per-day costs for monitoring – when private service providers put people on commercial fishing boats to count catches of cod, haddock, and some flounder, to track quotas – could be less than $700, given industry negotiations with private contractors.
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