Senator John Kerry today called for emergency federal aid and increased catch limits to help stave off the economic hardships currently facing Massachusetts' fishing industry.
At a hearing in Washington held by the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, Kerry argued that federal management and oversight must do more to address the economic hit fishermen have taken from low catch limits and out-of-whack allocations schemes.
"I helped rewrite Magnuson-Stevens years ago, and believed back then what I still believe today -- that the future health of our fishing industry depends on the health of strong, sustainable fisheries," said Sen. Kerry. "But let me be perfectly frank. The situation for our fisherman and local businesses is increasingly dire; I'm more and more convinced that the federal management of our fisheries has driven this industry to the brink. The Department of Commerce should immediately review Governor Deval Patrick's request for emergency aid. Catch limits must be increased for the remainder of this season, and additional cases of fraud and abuse must be allowed to be reviewed. Finally, we must increase the frequency of stock assessments to ensure that our fishermen are protected and New England's fishing industry can continue to thrive for generations to come."