The early returns for Northeast fishermen working under a major rules change show their catch down 10 percent, but revenues up 17 percent.
The numbers for the first three months of the fishing year, May to July, were posted on the Web by federal regulators at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Regional fisheries chief Patricia Kurkul says the relatively stable numbers are cause for cautious optimism.
Under the new system, fishermen work in groups to manage an allotted catch. But fishermen have complained they aren’t being allowed to catch enough fish to stay in businesses.
Jackie Odell of the Northeast Seafood Coalition, an industry group, said yesterday many fishermen aren’t even fishing yet because their catch allotments are so low. But she said unusually high prices have boosted the industry so far this year.