A federal judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by New Hampshire fisherman David Goethel challenging the legality of NOAA Fisheries forcing groundfishermen to pay for at-sea monitoring has ruled in favor of the federal government.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph N. Laplante issued his 31-page ruling Friday in Concord, N.H., granting summary judgment to the defendants in the lawsuit that was filed last December naming Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker -- whose department oversees the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- as lead defendant.

"Ultimately, the voluminous administrative record demonstrates that (Amendment 16) -- including the industry funding requirement -- was the end product of a lengthy period of deliberation and public comment," Laplante wrote in his conclusion.

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