Use of government fishery funds questioned

The plight of New England’s groundfishing fleet was once again a topic on Capitol Hill on Tuesday as a Massachusetts senator questioned a federal official about how his agency is spending money that's intended to help fishermen.

New England’s groundfishing industry is bracing for deep cuts in the allowable catch this year to protect what regulators say are dwindling populations of Gulf of Maine cod and other groundfish. The cuts have intensified the debate over the science behind catch limits and focused more attention on the always-tenuous relationship between fishermen and regulators.

Much of Tuesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on fisheries management in the U.S. focused on concerns in New York over management of the recreational summer flounder or fluke fishery.

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