By JAY LINDSAY, Associated Press
BOSTON (AP) _ Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is suing federal fishing regulators to block new rules that New England fishermen say will kill the local industry.
Coakley announced the suit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at a news conference Thursday.
The suit comes weeks after massive new cuts in catch limits for bottom-dwelling fish went into effect May 1. The most dramatic is a 78 percent year-to-year reduction for Gulf of Maine cod.
Coakley’s suit alleges regulators ignored the devastating regional impacts of the cuts and used flawed science to enact overly restrictive rules.
Regulators say the science is sound and shows deep cuts are needed to help fish species rebound. John Bullard, the region’s top regulator, says he’s disappointed Coakley filed suit instead of trying to work together.
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