Crippling 'reality' arrives for New England fishermen
The few fishermen who still ply New England's waters for cod, haddock and other groundfish are bracing for a double dose of bad news this week.
The first arrived Monday when, as anticipated, the U.S. Senate approved a USD 60 billion Hurricane Sandy disaster relief bill that contained no federal aid for the northeastern groundfishery or several other fisheries that face "economic disasters."
The second wave could arrive Wednesday or Thursday if federal regulators, as expected, slash already reduced catch limits by another 70 percent to 80 percent to protect fish populations that scientists now say are much smaller than previously thought.
The prospect is fanning tension between fishermen, scientists and regulators who are struggling to rebuild fisheries that are central to New England's history and economy.