Mass.: Bill asks state to help promote local fishermen

(AP) — A group of state lawmakers led by Senate Republican leader Bruce Tarr is calling for creation of a state program to help promote seafood caught by Massachusetts fishermen.

The bill calls for a seafood marketing program to be set up within the state Division of Marine Fisheries. The lawmakers say the goal is a coordinated approach that will increase demand for seafood and consumer preference for products from the state’s own commercial fishing and seafood industry.

Tarr, who represents Gloucester, says new federal catch limits have pushed fishermen “to the verge of extinction.” He says the marketing program is one of several ways the struggling industry can be helped by state government.

The bill, which has nearly two dozen co-sponsors, includes recommendations made by a special commission on seafood marketing.

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