Since 1623, Gloucester fishermen have sought a living against all sorts of odds, first needing to find fish, then the usual hazards of being at sea — unpredictable weather, seafood market fluctuations, keeping the boat going, fuel- and hardware-cost issues.

Now, they face growing challenges to match emerging regulatory politics trying to balance the interests of the industry with the growing scientific understanding of where the limits of nature are — how much fish the oceans can yield sustainably year after year, under the oversight by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), a division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

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