BOSTON – Attorney General Martha Coakley last week filed suit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for ignoring the “devastating economic impact” of the federal government’s recent enforcement and regulation of the fish stock, as well as the alleged use of “flawed” science to over-restrict the state’s fishing industry.
According to a news release, the suit aims to block these new rules from being further enforced or implemented, as well as other relief to mitigate the impact.
According to the complaint, after moving to a quota-based system known as “catch shares” in 2004, the NEFMC recently adopted a 77 percent reduction of groundfish allotments across the region starting on May 1. The complaint seeks to prevent the government from over-regulating the fishing industry by declaring this latest regulation invalid.
The complaint alleges that the Northeast Fishery Management Council’s decision was not based on the “best science available” and that the criteria used to assess the groundfish stock is based on antiquated and unfounded methods.
NOAA oversees the council that is in charge of regulating the fishing industry for Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire. •