1992The New England Fishery Management Council announced measures to reduce the fishing fleet.Economy and Industry, Economy, Maritime & Fishing Industry

Salt, Richard. “Fishermen join ranks on fish limits.” Gloucester Daily Times. May 14, 1992.
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Under threat of a Conservation Law Foundation lawsuit in 1992, the New England Fishery Management Council proposed drastic reductions to the Multispecies Groundfish Management Plan, known as Amendment 5. Among its proposals were substantial cuts to days-at-sea, net mesh size, minimum fish size, and the closure of 5000 square miles of Georges Bank. Catch quotas would be cut 10% per year until the total catch was cut by 50% in year five of the plan.

In response, Gloucester fishermen packed a four-hour hearing during which they presented an alternative conservation plan. The plan was recognized by Council members for being thoughtful and potentially workable. The Gloucester fishermen argued that the many large trawlers and draggers that were been built in response to the 200-mile limit would be forced inshore by the Council’s restrictions, with the result that Amendment 5 would actually accelerate the decline of groundfish stocks in the Gulf of Maine as larger boats competed with smaller inshore vessels. The Gloucester advocates also complained that the Council’s cuts were based on faulty data. To promote conservation and alleviate the impacts on fishermen that were losing their livelihoods, Congress funded the National Marine Fishery Service to buy back the boats and licenses of fishermen. A $2 million pilot program in 1994 bought 11 vessels in Gloucester, which expanded to $23 million in 1986, buying 13 more Gloucester boats and an additonal 54 East Coast boats. Despite these capacity reductions, critics charged that the program was inefficiently managed and failed to target the boats that were the cause of overfishing.

1900€™s | The Gloucester Adventure. https://schooner-adventure.org/history/gloucester-fishing-industry/1900s/. Prybot, Peter K. White-tipped orange masts: Gloucester's fishing draggers. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2007. Salt, Richard. "Fishermen join ranks on fish limits." Gloucester Daily Times. May 14, 1992.
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