Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) today released a statement applauding negotiations between the United States and Canada that have led to an increase in catch limits for Massachusetts' fishermen.
"Massachusetts fishermen play fair when it comes to sharing the same stocks and same waters as our Canadian friends, but over my dead body will our fishermen be short-changed by the rules," said Sen. Kerry. "We've had a lousy economy and our fishermen have played by the rules and today they're starting to get the equal treatment they deserve."
Today's negotiations, which were made possible by legislation passed by Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Senator Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), will allow for an 18% increase in the catch limit for yellowtail flounder in Georges Bank in 2011. That increase translates to a 2.5 million pound fish quota and a 44% increase over projected catch limit levels for the 2011 fishing year. Because yellowtail flounder is a chock stock, the increased catch limit will benefit flounder fishermen and allow all fishermen to target healthier fish stocks. The increase will also benefit scallopers as yellowtail flounder is a bycatch.