PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Northeast fisheries regulators are meeting to reconsider sharp, new scallop catch restrictions that have been vigorously protested by the fleet. The New England Fishery Management Council initially refused to reconsider the new rules, which include cutting annual fishing days from 37 to 29.
But after meeting this month with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, chair John Pappalardo said the council would reconsider the issue during its meeting this week in Portsmouth, NH. Fishermen say the cuts are unneeded in a healthy fishery, and would cost each scallop boat up to $300,000.
The council says the scallopers have recently overshot their projected catch and the cuts will keep the stock healthy. It says the one-year hit would mean greater long-term gain.