November 22, 2014
MONTEREY, Calif. (AP) - The skipper of a fishing boat that has trawled Monterey Harbor for decades says he's been docked since spring, unable to earn a living.
Jiri Nozicka says a federal quota system enacted to protect both fish and the commercial fishing industry has problems that he can't navigate.
He's not alone in criticizing the "catch shares" system and calling for changes.
Commercial fishers, industry experts and government officials are among those who say that while fish populations are recovering, too few people in California are benefiting from that rebound in part because there aren't enough qualified monitors to oversee the program.
Officials acknowledge there are issues and have taken steps to make improvements. Meanwhile, detractors say the problems threaten the viability of the system.
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