The arrest of Carlos Rafael, a New Bedford-based fishing mogul, sends a stark message to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, our congressional delegation, and everyone who cares about the future of fishing: It is time to make the full-fleet monitoring of commercial fishing boats a priority so that we know what is happening on our oceans.

Currently NOAA is monitoring very few New England fishing boats, at a time when the region’s cod fishery is in the midst of a historic collapse.

This means we do not know what fishermen are catching and selling, or throwing back into the sea.

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