The U.S. Department of Commerce is illegally charging herring fishers for the cost of a monitoring program that measures compliance with federal fishing standards, fishers claim in a new lawsuit.
Seafreeze Fleet LLC and two subsidiaries that own trawlers that fish the Atlantic Ocean for herring said in a Wednesday complaint that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service should be footing the cost of the program, not industry members. While the NMFS is responsible for administrative costs to support the program, companies must fund the actual sampling activities, such as the observer who checks catch numbers and reporting mechanisms on a boat. Seafreeze says the cost is $710 per day.
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