- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Federal regulators will soon release new rules for New England’s beleaguered cod fishery, including the role at-sea monitors will play.

At-sea monitoring is a controversial subject in the fishery because the government has shifted the cost of paying for monitors to fishermen. The monitors collect data that informs fishing regulations.

The new cod fishing season starts May 1, and the rules governing it are expected this week.

Fishermen were accompanied by monitors 24 percent of the time during the current fishing year. The government has proposed to reduce the rate of coverage to 14 percent for the coming fishing year.

Environmental groups say the fishery needs more monitoring. But commercial fishing groups say they fear the shift of the cost from government to industry will put fishermen out of business.

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