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Officials Consider Protections For Small Boat Fishermen

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(AP Photo/Lynn Dombek)

(AP Photo/Lynn Dombek)

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BOSTON (AP) — Rulemakers who protect New England’s fish stocks are considering ways to make sure the small boat fishermen who chase them don’t vanish in the meantime.

The New England Fishery Management Council is beginning to devise so-called “accumulation limits” to restrict what any single fisherman or fishing business can haul home annually.

The idea is to keep the wealthiest fishing interests from accumulating such a dominant share of the catch that there’s not enough for the region’s traditional small boat fleet.

It’s a persistent fear in the industry.

Some fishermen say new rules that went into effect last year make it more likely. But others think the limits unfairly disrupt the free market and can’t work. They also think the fleet actually needs to shrink more to stay healthy.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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