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Frank, Tierney say fishing rules ignore intent of law
NEW BEDFORD — The New England Fishery Management Council and the National Marine Fisheries Service “lost their way” when they wrote Amendment 16 to the Magnuson Act, U.S. Reps. Barney Frank and John Tierney told a federal court judge Tuesday.

They say that regulators “failed to achieve the balanced regulation required by the Magnuson-Stevens Act, constraining the operation of the groundfish fishery at the unnecessary expense of participants and dependent communities.”

The congressmen, both Massachusetts Democrats, filed their amicus (friend of the court) brief in the lawsuit to block Amendment 16, brought by New Bedford and Gloucester and a host of fishing industry interests.

“Management measures are condemned under National Standard No. 1 if they are ‘too restrictive' as well as ‘not rigorous enough,' ” said their memo.

“The allocation of ‘choke stocks,' e.g. pollock, yellowtail flounder, winter flounder, is so conservative that it will impede fishermen's ability to harvest the species for which they have a substantial allocation,” said the memo.

Recalling a 2008 letter they sent to NMFS, they wrote, “At the present time, expecting all the stocks in the New England fishery to be at their maximum level simultaneously is the principle on which this multi-species fishery is managed. That method does not work.”

Read the complete story from The South Coast Today.





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