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Regulator: Huge Cuts Coming to New England Fishing

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By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — New England’s top fishing regulator says crippling new catch limits are coming and they will devastate what remains of the region’s fishing industry.

Regional regulators will meet next week to decide catch limits for fishermen who chase bottom-dwelling groundfish, such as cod and haddock. But committees of the New England Fishery Management Council have already recommended massive cuts fishermen say will cause industry collapse.

John Bullard, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Northeast office, told The Associated Press in an interview Friday that those cuts are unavoidable.

He says fish stocks are in perilous condition but the groundfish industry will ultimately survive in some form.

Bullard says blame for the situation goes to managers, because “we set the rules and clearly the rules have failed.”