According to a report in the Cape Cod Times, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says he’s open to raising catch limits on certain fish species that New England fishermen say they urgently need to harvest in order to survive, but that he needs more information before making the decision.
Locke had initially expressed uncertainty about whether federal laws gave him the power to raise the catch limits on various species. In a letter sent to Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Barney Frank on Thursday, Locke said he’s now convinced he has that authority. He said he’s prepared to issue an emergency regulation to revise catch limits “whenever there is both sufficient economic and sound scientific data available to meet these requirements.”
Fishermen argue that the limits on some species are already set too low, and that further restrictions would devastate the industry.