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NOAA warns that #sequestration cuts to observers could impede opening of commercial fishing in federal waters

Sequestration: When will you feel the pain?
Published March 01, 2013

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............The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has warned that the budget cuts to its at-sea observers and fishery stock assessments could impede the opening of commercial fishing seasons in federal waters. Among the most high profile species: halibut season in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, which is scheduled to begin March 23.

May 1 may bring more angry fishermen. That’s the start of the commercial groundfish season in New England. And that’s followed by the start of red snapper season June 1 in the Gulf of Mexico.
By July, August, and September, the impact of sequestration should be fully felt......

More >>  NOAA to pay boat monitors, maybe with research money ?

By Steve Urbon
March 02, 2013 12:00 AM

NOAA Fisheries on Friday announced its intention — depending on the unresolved government sequester — to pay for costly onboard compliance monitors that it requires on fishing vessels in the Northeast.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administratio...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But how they may do it is already drawing criticism.

The monitors cost $847 per day, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and fishermen are already facing a fishing year with drastically reduced groundfish quotas. Boats are likely going to go out of business.

Fishermen told the New England Fishery Management Council in Portsmouth, N.H., earlier this year that they are barely making.......