EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 12, 2013

Gomez, Markey on fishing, Cape Wind, favorite Scotus judge

BOSTON — The two candidates for the open U.S. Senate seat have opposing positions on Cape Wind, with Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez arguing the offshore wind farm is not cost-competitive while U.S. Rep. Ed Markey says he has backed the energy project and sought to speed it along.

In response to written questions from the State Houser News Service, both candidates offered their plan for helping the state’s fishermen, who are faced with sharply reduced catch limits regulated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Question: The Massachusetts fishing industry is in economic straits, as federal regulators say there has been a severe drop in the amount of cod and other fish, while the fishing fleet’s skippers and their advocates say the regulators are basing the catch-limit on faulty science. What should the federal government do, and what should it not do to address this situation?

Gomez: I stand with the Attorney General (Martha Coakley) for standing up for these fishermen and suing regulators in Washington D.C. who think they know or care more about the ocean than the fishermen who make their lives from it. I’ve sat with the fishermen in New Bedford and Gloucester. They described how their way of life is being threatened and drastic catch limits being imposed by NOAA will bankrupt a proud livelihood that has been a part of our coastal economy since before there was a Massachusetts. This program currently relies on flawed science and overreaching regulations that don’t account for the regional economic impact.

Local fishermen don’t want welfare, they want to be allowed to work.

Markey: Massachusetts fishermen and their families are hurting right now. I recently sat down with fishermen in Gloucester, and they told me how they need more help. I’ve heard that in New Bedford, on the Cape, and around the fishing communities of Massachusetts.

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