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NOAA Head Requests Review Of Fishery Enforcement

BOSTON (AP) - The head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking for a federal review of fishery enforcement nationwide after New England fishermen alleged retaliation and excessive penalties.

Jane Lubchenco responded Wednesday to a request for an investigation from five Massachusetts congressmen. Lubchenco's agency includes the National Marine Fisheries Service.

She said she has asked the U.S. Inspector General's Office to conduct the review.

The lawmakers last month fines of tens of thousands of dollars for documentation violations they said can be hard to avoid and don't affect fish health.

They also say fishermen believe the Fisheries Service has unevenly enforced rules, including in recent cases of whale harassment.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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