Overfishing over, expert says

BOSTON – One of the nation’s top fishery scientists says that for the first time in at least a century, U.S. fishermen won’t take too much of any species from the sea.

Retired Fisheries Service chief scientist Steve Murawski said the new catch data come after a turbulent fishing year that’s seen New England fishermen switch to a radically new management system.

He called the end of overfishing a major achievement.

It doesn’t mean all species are healthy – just that scientists believe they’re now being fished at a rate that will allow them to recover to sustainable levels.

But some fishermen and their advocates say it’s come at too high a price. They say fishing levels have been set much lower than needed, driving fishermen out of business and damaging historic fishing communities.

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