For Immediate Release - January 21, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley Issues Statement on Inspector General of the Department of Commerce Report on Federal Fisheries Enforcement

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's office issues the following statement in response to "Review of North Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Enforcement Programs and Operations" issued today by the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce.

"Our fishing communities are critical for our economy and enforcement by federal regulatory authorities needs to be fair. The Inspector General's report released today confirms many of our concerns about the approach NOAA has taken toward enforcing fishery conservation laws and how that approach may have contributed to the abrupt attempt by federal regulatory authorities to close the Gloucester Fish Exchange last summer. We are hopeful that this report will lead to an overhaul of the agency's enforcement procedures."