A fishing oversight committee plans to ask federal regulators to call for emergency action to suspend the at-sea monitoring program required of the New England groundfishing industry.

Groundfishermen fish for important food species such as cod and haddock.

The National Marine Fisheries Service has said groundfishermen will likely have to start paying the cost of at-sea monitors around August.

The New England Fishery Management Council’s Groundfish Committee wants the council to request emergency action from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The issue is on the agenda for a June 18 meeting of the council in Newport, Rhode Island. Many groundfishermen say they can’t afforded the added cost of the monitors.

The monitors are hired from private companies and their primary job is to collect data about discarded fish.


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