, Salem, MA


September 6, 2012

Lawyers argue city's case on fishery

BOSTON — Lawyers for the region’s co-capitals of the fishing industry, New Bedford and Gloucester, yesterday urged the First U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston to direct a federal district court judge to assert control over what was described as the rampant consolidation of the groundfishery that risks destroying cultures linked to a way of life older than the nation itself.

The lead attorney for the cities and other fishing interests, James F. Kavanaugh Jr., told the three-judge panel that commodity trading of groundfish allocations — through the system known as catch shares — among members of fishing cooperatives known as sectors was introduced improperly and illegally in 2010 by denying the groundfishermen their statutory right to vote on the radical transformation of their industry.

But Kavanaugh said his clients — along with the region’s major fishing ports, dozens of fishing businesses, associations and individuals from New Hampshire to North Carolina — do not seek to have the catch share regimen halted or declared illegal.

In response to Chief Justice Sandra L. Lynch’s question — “Are you asking that the program be stopped in its tracks?” — Kavanaugh said, “No, that’s too draconian.”

He went on to explain that the plaintiffs want the Court of Appeals to remand the case back to U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel, and for her to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to administer the regimen correctly, as Congress intended, with safeguards against economic destabilization and social dislocation.

Those safeguards hang on whether the sector system is defined to be a Limited Access Privileged Program or Individual Fishing Quotas — a dicey definition, even Judge Lynch acknowledged — that would include a referendum approval by two thirds of the affected fishermen. Judge Zobel had rejected that definition of the sector program last year, prompting the appeal, which contends the system is a limited access program because participants are limited in what they can catch and trade it.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000 GM Crash Compensation Could Top $1 Billion GM Won't Limit Crash Compensation Funds Justices Rule for Broadcasters in Aereo Fight
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open
Comments Trcker