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Federal Regulators Propose to Reopen Northeast Fishing Areas
07/10/2013 11:17 AM ET  

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's making the proposal at the request of the New England Fishery Management Council, which is seeking to ease the effects of drastic cuts in some fish quotas.

Federal regulators today say they're proposing to re-open some Northeast fishing areas that have been off limits for nearly 20 years to protect fragile fish populations. Under the plan, parts of three offshore areas south and east of Cape Cod would reopen, with some restrictions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says it's making the proposal at the request of the New England Fishery Management Council, which is seeking to ease the effects of drastic cuts in quotas of some species that went into effect this year.

The targeted areas would reopen to certain types of gear for a limited time to allow groundfishermen an opportunity to harvest haddock and other abundant species, such as skates and monkfish, agency officials say in a press release. Under the plan, all fishing trips would be monitored.

Exceptions include the Western Gulf of Maine and Cashes Ledge, which would remain closed under the proposed new rules. NOAA officials say regulators, and Maine and Massachusetts fishermen, remain concerned about protecting beleaguered cod and haddock stocks in those areas.



 

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