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The Associated Press March 22, 2010, 10:34AM ET

Federal oceans chief to discuss fishing in Boston

The nation's oceans chief is set to meet with local politicians and representatives of the Massachusetts fishing industry as new federal fishing regulations loom.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenco will attend the Boston meeting Monday as fishermen prepare for a May 1 switch to a "sector" management system.

The system enables fishermen to form "sectors" -- groups that divide an allotted catch among themselves. The idea is that increased autonomy and hard catch limits will lead to more profitable and sustainable fishing.

Some fishermen strongly oppose the changes, saying they will kill fishing communities and drive them out of business.

The current system tries to stop overfishing by curbing fishing effort, including with steady cuts to fishing days at sea.

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