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Gone fishin': Court denies NH case

October 04. 2017 12:33AM

The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of a New Hampshire fisherman who claims federal regulations are driving him out of business.

David Goethel sued when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made him responsible for paying for the at-sea monitor that NOAA mandates he take on his boat. He says $700 per day is too much to bear.

New England’s rich multispecies fishery is struggling after almost 600 years of heavy fishing. We need to track how many fish are being caught and ensure compliance with federal law.

As with many regulations, NOAA’s monitoring mandate is much harder for smaller fishing vessels to afford. This drives consolidation in the industry toward fewer, larger boats, owned by huge fishing conglomerates.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu met with President Donald Trump this week to discuss the economic costs of overregulation. Finding a more cost-effective way to manage the New England fishery, without driving New Hampshire’s small fishing operations out of business, would be a good place to start.

Meanwhile, Congress needs to address the unintended consequences of its efforts to protect our fisheries.

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