April 15, 2013

Plan to open no-fishing zones faces opposition

Allowing some commercial fishing in closed areas would help groundfishermen hurt by catch limits, supporters say.

By North Cairn ncairn@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Keeping the closed areas intact doesn't prevent successful fishing nearby and may have other kinds of unexpected benefits, too, he said. "It may be a buffer for mistakes in management."

"We're not at all sure those are the best places," said Patricia Fiorelli, public affairs officer of the New England Fishery Management Council, which is composed of fishermen, state agencies, conservationists, members of the industry and the NOAA regional administrator.

She said the council is looking at many additional approaches to aid stock recovery, some of which will be discussed at the council's April 24 meeting in Mystic, Conn.

The council will not reverse its position on the proposal already submitted to NOAA, however, she said. "It looks like there may be more effective ways to protect groundfish," Fiorelli said. But until more is known, the council wants to move ahead to soften the economic blow to fishermen of the 2013 catch limits on species such as cod.

"To cast this as something they want to do to help the poor, struggling smaller fisherman, to pretend that this is going to help the groundfishermen, it's not very honest," Crawford said. "In the long run, everyone is going to lose."

Staff Writer North Cairn can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:



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