GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Fishing Industry Stories

September 16, 2013

AG suit vs. NOAA gets new backing

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts now has company in its suit against NOAA.

The state attorney general’s lawsuit, which claims NOAA — in violation of the Magnuson Stevens Act — disregarded the devastating economic impact on fishing communities such as Gloucester generated by its staggering cuts in catch limits, now includes the state of New Hampshire as a co-plaintiff.

New Hampshire last week filed a motion seeking “permissive intervention” in U.S. District Court in Boston primarily to protect the interests of the state’s “unique small-boat fisheries industry that is not adequately represented by any other party or intervener.”

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns granted the motion, giving the Granite State a seat at the table as the suit moves toward the summary judgment stage. The suit was filed in May by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley — who according to weekend media reports, is expected to declare her 2014 candidacy for governor today.

“Our concern,” said Peter C.L. Roth, New Hampshire’s senior assistant attorney general, “is that the new fisheries regulation would be harmful to New Hampshire fishermen in similar ways that they are harmful to the Massachusetts fishermen.”

New Hampshire’s impetus for joining the suit also is steeped in the differences between the two states’ respective commercial fishing industries.

“There could be issues that we do not have precisely in common with the commonwealth (of Massachusetts) and we want to be able to protect those interests,” Roth said. “The commonwealth has a fishery that is perhaps somewhat more diverse than New Hampshire. We have a primarily, if not completely, small-boat fishery.”

Coakley filed the suit with great fanfare less than a month after NOAA implemented staggering cuts — up to 78 percent in the case of Cape of Maine cod — to the allowable catch of several groundfishing stocks that represent the heart of the Gloucester commercial fishing fleet’s landings.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Fishing Industry Stories

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US