PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - New England's fishing fleet is facing grim news as regulators meet to consider steep cuts in catch limits that fishermen warn will trigger industry collapse.
The New England Fishery Management Council meets today in Portsmouth, N.H., to decide 2013 limits on stocks including cod on Georges Bank and in the Gulf of Maine.
Fishermen who chase bottom-dwelling groundfish face a year-to-year cut of 81 percent on the Gulf of Maine cod limit and 61 percent on Georges Bank cod.
Fishermen say that leaves too few fish to make a living. The Northeast's top federal fisheries regulator, John Bullard, acknowledges the cuts will be devastating. But he says the reality is that stocks are in perilous condition. Fishermen, though, say the science behind the cuts is shaky and repeatedly wrong.