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Federal Funding For At-Sea Monitors Continues Through End Of Year

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The federal government has extended the deadline for fishermen to start paying for monitors to keep track of their catch.

The federal government has extended the deadline for fishermen to start paying for monitors to keep track of their catch.

The fisheries division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has been paying for people who collect data on fishing boats. These so-called at-sea monitors are required on one out of every five fishing trips.

The federal agency thought it would run out of money to pay the monitors by the end of the summer. It turns out the funding will last through the end of the year, because fewer fishermen are out fishing.

This is temporary relief for fishermen who will have to pay out-of-pocket for at-sea monitors when the federal funding dries up. Fishermen say it'll be an economic hardship.

This summer the New England Fishery Management Council asked NOAA to suspend the at-sea monitoring program. But federal officials and environmental advocates said it’s an important check on fishermen. (Read a fisherman’s perspective about the at-sea monitoring program.)

Next year, the federal government will continue to pay for other costs associated with the at-sea monitoring program, such as the program training and certification.

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At-sea monitors are required on one out of every five fishing trips.
At-sea monitors are required on one out of every five fishing trips.