The nation’s top fishery managers and advocates met in Washington on Tuesday to find ways to fix a troubled fishery law enforcement system that’s been plagued by mismanagement.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco said that her agency’s law enforcement agency needed to be “good partners” with fishermen.
She said they needed to be accessible, but also tough enough to protect the country’s marine resources.
The summit, which includes industry representatives and environmentalists, aims to gather ideas for more effective enforcement.
Northeast fishermen have long complained of unfair treatment and excessive fines.
This year, the Commerce Department’s Inspector General found the impression was justified. His office also said millions in fines from fishermen were badly mismanaged and misspent. Steps have since been taken to improve oversight of the money.