BOSTON (AP) — Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation are calling on the Obama administration to issue a disaster declaration for the New England commercial fishing industry after regulators warned of severe reductions in catch limits next year.
Sen. John Kerry says the potential impact of the cuts would be "absolutely devastating" on fishermen and the 80,000 or so jobs that rely on the fishing industry in the Bay State alone.
The Democrat told a news conference on Friday that a disaster declaration would allow Congress to speed economic assistance to the industry.
Kerry says the delegation has also asked federal fishing regulators to conduct an "end-to-end" review of how fishing stocks are evaluated, citing wide variations in ground fish assessments that have created a lack of confidence in the figures among fishermen.
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