September 24, 2017
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Feds form group to deal with major fishing cut

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Federal fishing regulators have formed a group to help fishermen deal with a huge reduction in the yellowtail flounder catch on Georges Bank.

The announcement Friday comes a day after regional managers asked the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to create the group.

Fishermen who target bottom-dwelling groundfish in Georges Bank face an 80 percent cut in their yellowtail catch limit, starting May 1. They say it will devastate the struggling industry.

The yellowtail isn’t a top value fish. But a low catch limit on them prevents fishermen from chasing the more valuable fish they swim among.

Sam Rauch, acting head of NOAA’s fisheries service, said the new group will include members of the fishing community. He said it will work on ways to help fishermen survive, including developing gear that helps fishermen avoid yellowtail.

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