Fishermen fear looming cost of at-sea monitors this summer

AP News
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Posted: May 03, 2015 10:43 AM

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — New England fishermen of important food fish like cod and haddock say the looming cost of paying for at-sea monitors could put them out of business this year.

The National Marine Fisheries Service says it needs the money it had been using to pay for the monitors for other obligations. The service says that means groundfishermen who catch cod, haddock and pollock in New England waters will likely have to start paying the cost around August.

Groundfishermen say the new expense is coming at a time when it could cripple the fishery. Paying for at-sea monitors can cost fishermen about $800 per trip. Fishermen say they can't afford that in a year when the quota for Gulf of Maine cod is being cut by about 75 percent.