With a crystalline portrait of America’s oldest seaport serving as the backdrop, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday attacked NOAA’s plan to force fishermen to pay for at-sea observers on their boats and reiterated his pledge to help convince the federal fishing regulator to consider science other than its own.

Baker, speaking to a crowd of about 100 near the Fishermen’s Wives Memorial on Stacy Boulevard, with the city’s Outer Harbor sparkling in the background, called the federal at-sea observer proposal “the most perfect example of an unfunded mandate I think I’ve ever seen in my life.”

“I think it’s ridiculous and it’s outrageous,” Baker told the audience of fishermen, fishing advocates, Gloucester officials and members of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. “If they want to send observers out on the boats, they should pay for them with their own money.”

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