BOSTON — The early returns for Northeast fishermen working under a major rules change show their catch down 10 percent, but revenues up 17 percent.

The relatively stable numbers for the first three months of the fishing year, May to July, were cause for cautious optimism, said Patricia Kurkul, regional fisheries chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Under the new system, fishermen work in groups to manage an allotted catch. But fishermen have complained they aren’t being allowed to catch enough fish to stay in business.

Jackie Odell of the Northeast Seafood Coalition, an industry group, said today many fishermen aren’t even fishing yet because their catch allotments are so low. But she said unusually high prices have boosted the industry so far this year.

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