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BOSTON – Calling scientific research “critical” to the future of the state’s fishing industry, Attorney General Martha Coakley is urging the legislature to keep funding for fisheries research within the proposed fiscal 2014 budget.
Coakley sent a letter last week to the legislature arguing that the research is critical because it would allow for sonar or other methods to determine an independent count of the number of groundfish in New England waters.
In May, Coakley filed suit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for ignoring the devastating economic impact of new regulations and for allegedly using flawed science to over-restrict the Massachusetts fishing industry. NOAA recently began enforcing a 77 percent reduction of groundfish allotments across the region.
The suit aims to block the new rules from being further enforced or implemented, as well as other relief to mitigate the impact. •