Friday, May 31, 2013

Fighting for Our Fishermen

     Yesterday on the Boston Fish Pier, I joined with Attorney General Martha Coakley in announcing that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has filed a complaint against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), federal officials, and regulators for recently implementing a 77% reduction of allowable catches of groundfish species such as cod.

     The suit claims that Frameworks 48 and 50 is in violation of the Magnuson-Stevens Act on several grounds, which include:

·         Failing to achieve optimum yield from the New England groundfish fisheries;

·         Dictating conservation and management measures that are not based on the best scientific information available;

·         Failing to meaningfully take into account the importance of fishery resources to fishing communities; and

·         Refusing to meaningfully provide for the sustained participation of, or to minimize the adverse effects upon, those fishing communities.

     I have been fighting these issues for several years.  Unfortunately federal regulators continue to use antiquated measuring tools to justify their heavy handed reductions of fish stocks.  The groundfish commercial fishery is struggling desperately to stay afloat, and a victory within the courts would provide a significant lifeline to those who depend on our oceans to make a living.

     Posted below are several photos taken during yesterday's announcement.  To read more about Attorney General Coakley’s suit, please click here.