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Business and Economy

Fishermen Running Out of Time as Monitor Costs Loom

By Patrick Whittle, The Associated Press
PORTLAND, Maine - New England fishermen say they are running out of time and fearful for their future as the federal government considers shifting the costs of at-sea monitoring.

The monitors are trained workers who collect data on commercial fishing trips. Officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say the money it had been using to pay for monitors who work in New England fisheries such as cod and haddock is going to run out around Dec. 1.

The agency says fishermen will have to pay for the monitors, which can cost about $800 per trip. Maine Coast Fishermen's Association executive director Ben Martens says the cost will put fishermen out of business.

A group of New England congressmen says it is looking for ways to reduce the burden for fishermen.