National

Oct 30, 2009 10:52 AM by Associated Press

Fishermen converge on Massachusetts to protest practices

Hundreds of fishermen from the Northeast have gathered in Massachusetts to rally against what they say are "unrealistic" regulations and "dysfunctional" fisheries management.

Some carrying signs that say "Let Fishermen Fish" and "Stop Underfishing" are protesting Friday in front of the New England headquarters of the National Marine Fisheries Service in Gloucester.

Jay Driscoll of Rye Harbor, Maine, says the new system has unfairly allocated the amount of fish he can catch and will wipe out the region's small boat fleet.

The rally comes as fishermen prepare for a switch to a "sector" management system, in which those working in groups divide and manage an allotted catch.

Rally organizers say they want an independent review of how the switch will affect them economically.

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