Commercial fishermen and environmental groups agree that a longstanding dispute over the future of at-sea monitoring is far from over, despite recent funding help from Congress. The monitors are on-board workers who collect data to help inform fishing regulations. The federal government moved the cost of paying for them to fishermen in some Northeast fisheries in 2016.
Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said last month that a budget bill finalized by Congressional leaders included about $10 million to pay for the monitors. That means fishermen of valuable New England species such as cod, haddock and sole won’t have to pay for the monitors this year. But fishing groups, and the environmentalists who watch them, say the government and industry need to work together on a long-term solution to make paying for monitoring sustainable. Fishermen say they can’t afford the cost themselves, as it can add around $700 per day to the cost of fishing.
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