The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service is breaking the law by failing to sufficiently protect groundfish in New England, a federal judge ruled last Friday. U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler said she would issue an order with specific directions for how the agency should stop overfishing, because the NMFS can’t be trusted to enforce the 1996 Sustainable Fisheries Act. The region’s 1,400 cod and other groundfish trawlers will likely face much tougher limits on where nets can be cast and how many fish can be caught. Environmentalists praised the decision as precedent-setting, while fishers worried that they might be regulated out of business.

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