Commerce secretary to meet with Maine fishermen

Posted Sept. 27, 2010, at 5:47 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. commerce secretary is paying a visit to Maine just days after ordering a review of several questionable penalties assessed against fishermen in the last decade.

Gary Locke will meet with fishermen and others in Portland to discuss issues relating to New England fisheries including a report detailing problems with fisheries enforcement. The report prompted Locke last week to appoint a special master to examine 19 “problematic” enforcement cases in the Northeast.

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, who’ll accompany him, has been critical of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s fishery enforcement division.

Pingree says she’ll discuss her concerns with Locke. She says the federal government “shouldn’t treat fishermen like they are criminals.”

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