Fishermen say federal law kills jobs, will rally in D.C.

Jay Lindsay
Associated Press
The Providence Journal
February 15, 2010

BOSTON (AP) — Fishermen from around the country are planning to pack the steps in front of the U.S. Capitol this month to demand changes to a federal fisheries law they say is killing jobs and eroding fishing communities.

Organizers of the “United We Fish” rally expect up to 3,000 people at the Feb. 24 protest, including a bipartisan roster of congressmen and fishermen from as far away as Alaska.

The rally comes as various issues roil the fishing business, including questions about uneven law enforcement, restrictions on key recreational stocks and a switch to a new system of regulating Northeast fishermen.

But Jim Hutchinson Jr. of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, a rally organizer, said the overall goal is changing the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the federal fisheries law that was reauthorized in 2007.

Hutchinson said the law sets unrealistic fish stock recovery goals based on flawed science, then mandates harsh cuts for failing to meet the goals.

“This is about real people having real concerns and being put out of business, being kicked off the water,” Hutchinson said…

…There are so many concerns that Massachusetts state Sen. Bruce Tarr and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante have scheduled a workshop in Gloucester to help those attending the rally bring a focused message and plan a meaningful follow-up…

The article continues at The Providence Journal.

UPDATE: Learn more about the current crisis in fisheries management at

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