Feds Fund Independent Observers on New England Commercial Groundfishing Boats

A $9.5-million appropriation from a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bush will allow independent observers to be placed aboard some boats that target groundfish in New England. The observers will work alongside fishermen to collect data on the species and amount of fish caught, and to determine the extent to which fishermen land species other than those targeted. The money will help to identify whether such bycatch is one of the main causes of overfishing.