BOSTON (AP) - A long-awaited plan to increase monitoring of the trawlers that some believe are damaging critical herring stocks has been shelved.
Critics say the trawlers dump large amounts of herring and also inadvertently scoop up and kill other critical species. But trawlers owners say there's just no proof of that.
In June 2012, the New England Fishery Management Council approved mandating independent monitors on each trawler trip.
Both sides predicted vindication, but federal regulators disapproved the plan last month, saying it amounted to an unfunded mandate.
The decision stung council members. Some said NOAA showed little interest in making things work and called its partnership with NOAA dysfunctional.
But John Bullard, the Northeast's top fishing regulator, says there's no money to fund the added observers and councilors should have known that.
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