Federal fishing regulators say they have notified some New England fishermen that they will have to pay the cost of at-sea monitors starting March 1.
Monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas and their services can cost more than $700 per day. Fishermen of important commercial species such as cod and haddock will have to start paying the cost of the monitors under new rules.
The rule change has prompted criticism from fishermen who say they can't afford more costs. The cost shift comes as New England cod fishermen are already struggling with a declining fish population and tough quotas.
The change has also been the subject of a lawsuit filed by fishermen in U.S. District Court in Concord. A judge's ruling on the lawsuit is pending.