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Sen. Kerry Wants Disaster Declaration For Fishermen

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(AP Photo/Lynn Dombek)

(AP Photo/Lynn Dombek)

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BOSTON (AP) — Sen. John Kerry is urging U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to declare a disaster for the Massachusetts fishing industry and raise catch limits that many fishermen claim are too low for them to make a living.

Kerry fired off a letter to Locke on Wednesday, after meeting with the secretary earlier this week.

In January, Locke denied a request from Gov. Deval Patrick for emergency increases in New England catch limits, saying there was no new science to justify such increases. Kerry says the decision should be based on the “best available” information, even if it’s not new.

Kerry also called on Locke to help secure $4 million for a revolving loan fund for small fishermen and to take other steps to rebuild trust in the wake of an inspector general’s report that found abusive enforcement of fishing rules.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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