Today, Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke made the decision to reject Governor Patrick’s request for emergency action to increase catch limits for Massachusetts fishermen, in violation of the groundfish management plan that CLF helped to pass, which has been in effect since May 2010 and was helping to create positive, sustainable change in the state’s fisheries. Several weeks ago, the Governor petitioned Secretary Locke to declare a state of economic emergency in Massachusetts fisheries and was supporting a lawsuit that challenged the plan, putting fish and fishermen at risk.
“With his decision to reject Governor Patrick’s request to increase catch limits, Secretary Locke has rightly rejected the notion that the new fisheries management plan is contributing to an economic crisis in the Massachusetts fishery,” said CLF Senior Counsel Peter Shelley. “On the contrary, fishing industry revenues in Massachusetts are up 21.9 percent over 2009 in just the first seven months under the new “catch shares” management system. The Governor’s demand for emergency action was more politics than economics.” Read more >