Fishing tragedy prompts repeal of scallop penalties

Fishing tragedy prompts repeal of scallop penalties
Boston Herald – Boston,MA,USA

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. – Fisheries regulators voted unanimously yesterday to eliminate penalties for scallop boats that break off trips in bad weather, a move prompted by the deaths of five fishermen during a December storm.

The 17-0 vote came during the first day of the New England Fishery Management Council’s three-day meeting here.

One man survived the Dec. 20 sinking of the New Bedford-based Northern Edge in fishing grounds about 45 miles southeast of Nantucket.

After the tragedy, some fishermen blamed federal penalties, saying the fear of economic losses forces fishermen to risk safety by staying at sea in conditions that would normally lead them to head back to port.

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