Fishermen challenge new West Coast regulations

Some small-boat fishermen from Oregon and California are challenging a new system for regulating the West Coast's biggest fishery.

They announced today they have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Commerce to stop the so-called "catch-share" program from going into effect next year for the groundfish fishery, which includes popular species like sole, rockfish and ling cod.

The lawsuit argues the program will give trawlers — big boats that haul nets along the ocean bottom — control over 90 percent of the catch, and cause more environmental damage and waste than smaller boats using traps and hook-and-line fishing methods.

Plaintiffs include the Port Orford Ocean Resource team from Oregon and the San Francisco Crab Boat Owners.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.

— The Associated Press

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