U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop visits New Bedford waterfront, speaks with industry reps

U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican and chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, visited the city to get a firsthand look at the highest-value commercial fishing port in the country. Numerous industry leaders from across the region took the opportunity to speak to the committee chairman, particularly about the push for national monument status in the New England Canyons and Seamounts, about 100 miles southeast of Cape Cod.  Eric Reid, a general manager with Rhode Island frozen fish business Seafreeze, told Bishop during a noontime forum at the New Bedford Whaling Museum that economic impacts from monument status, which would restrict commercial fishing, could cost $500 million and “countless jobs.” Reid unfurled a map of ocean waters on a Whaling Museum table and pointed out to Bishop where he felt commercial fishing businesses could, and could not, survive if a monument status was put in place. Reid suggested a line of demarcation in the Canyons and Seamounts area, where bottom-fishing would be allowed north of the line but not to the south. “We can protect the industry, and we can protect the corals,” Reid said, urging that “pelagic” fishing, or fishing that occurs well above ocean floors, be allowed in both zones. Read the story here 23:33

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