PORTLAND (AP) – U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is asking members of the New England Fisheries Council to reconsider a new set of proposed fishing regulations.

Collins, R-Maine, said that the new regulations will devastate Maine fishermen and the state’s fishing industry.

Known as Amendment 13, the regulations will be discussed by the NEFC when they meet in January.

They are designed to help rebuild New England’s devastated stocks of cod and other bottom-dwelling fish.

The regulations cut days at sea, but allow fishermen to lease unused days to other boats. They were approved in November and go into effect in May.

“I have heard from dozens of people interested in Amendment 13, and no one is completely satisfied with the measure. Indeed, not one person has indicated to me that he or she sees no room for improving the plan,” Collins said in a statement.

The Maine Fishermen’s Cooperative Association, Portland Fish Exchange, City of Portland, and Associated Fisheries of Maine endorsed Collins’ proposal to delay the implementation of the new regulations.

Numerous restrictions aimed at rebuilding fish stocks have been imposed on New England’s struggling 1,500 ground fishermen during the last decade.

AP-ES-12-26-03 0946EST



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