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Petition seeks closure of fish regulators' office

BOSTON (AP) -- New England fishermen and their allies have submitted a petition to members of Congress urging them to close the regional office for federal fishing regulators and funnel the savings to the fishing industry.

The petition with more than 150 signatures seeks to eliminate the Northeast Regional Office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Gloucester. It was submitted Thursday.

It blames regulators for the state of the fisheries and says savings from closing their office can help fishermen struggling under deep quota cuts.

Regulators say the cuts are needed to rebuild fish populations.

An email requesting comment on the petition was left with NOAA on Friday.

Earlier this year, the Northeast's top fishing regulator told The Standard-Times of New Bedford that the petition wasn't serious and he didn't want to waste time on it.