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Politics & Issues

Fishery Regulators Taking Fire from All Sides

NOAA's fishery service can't catch a break. The agency is facing two lawsuits - one claiming its groundfish regulations are too harsh, and one claiming they're too lax.

Just a day after Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that her office was suing NOAA for overly harsh groundfish regulations based on what she called "flawed science," two environmental groups filed their own lawsuit - this one claiming that measures intended to ease the impact of drastic cuts in cod quotas go too far.

The New Bedford Standard Times reports:

In U.S. District Court suits filed in Washington, D.C., the Conservation Law Foundation and Earthjustice maintain that the National Marine Fisheries Service went too far when fishery regulators approved both the reopening of two closed groundfish conservation areas and the carryover of some unused catch permits to ease the effect of sharp cutbacks in quota for cod, haddock and yellowtail flounder. The environmental groups had registered their complaints about the closed areas during meetings of the New England Fishery Management Council earlier this year. Later, NOAA Fisheries Regional Administrator John Bullard announced the permit carry-over change with little or no vocal opposition.

Read the full story.