CT fishermen are upset with restrictions - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT fishermen are upset with restrictions

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(WFSB) (WFSB)
STONINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

Connecticut fishermen are afraid the industry their grandfathers and great grandfathers started may come to an end.

The crew of the Regulus just returned to Stonington with a haul of squid from the Hudson Canyon on Wednesday and talked with Eyewitness News.  It’s near the continental shelf, which is a long way from their home port

Regulus Captain Joseph Gilbert said they'll be OK with their catch on Wednesday.

"It’s getting tougher and tougher we end to have more fishing season in order to get by,” Gilbert said.

Connecticut's fishing fleet is one of the oldest in the country. But, now these fishermen are saying the federal regulations are killing them.

"Our commercial fisherman are actually throwing more fish overboard than they're allowed to bring in,” Mike Gambardella, who is a fish wholesaler, said.

Gambardella's family has been selling fish in Connecticut for more than a century.  He explained as federal regulators reduce the types and numbers of fish they can catch. It doesn't make economic sense to stay in business.

This month, commercial fishermen can only catch 10 black sea bass a day, 50 pounds or 38 winter flounder a day or 500 pounds of fluke.

The fishermen said the quotas are based on two year old stats generated by scientists, who aren't fishing every day.

"The scientists aren't listening to the fishermen who are out there fishing for the fish,” Gambardella said. “They're going by numbers and the numbers aren't coming out right."

The placement of wind farms off shore restricting where they can fish such as some proposed farm south of Long Island.

"Little by little we're losing our access to the ocean and our ability to produce food for the American public,” Gilbert said.

"They put the nets out. They bring in the fish,” Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons said. “They see what they're catching and they just can't figure out why the federal government is reducing the quota."

The fishermen told Eyewitness News regulators have scheduled a meeting next week to reduce the number of black sea bass they catch by another 30 percent.

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