Bryan Cohen Dec. 6, 2013, 8:30pm

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is urging a federal court to stop its new regulations on fish-catching limits after the changes caused significant damage to the state's 400-year-old fishing industry.

Coakley's motion for summary judgment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, reinforced arguments made in her May lawsuit against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The suit alleges NOAA ignored the economic impact its new regulations would have and for using flawed science to significantly reduce annual catch limits for cod and other species placed on the state's fishing industry.

"These new regulations are having a large impact and are devastating the fishing communities in our commonwealth," Coakley said.

"As part of our proud past, we will continue to fight to ensure the fishing industry is part of our vibrant future despite the federal government's callous disregard for the well-being of Massachusetts fishing families."

New Hampshire intervened in the suit in September, and Rhode Island anticipates it will file an amicus brief in support of Coakley's suit.

Coakley and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, D-Gloucester, also sent a letter to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., to advocate for the inclusion of $150 million in fisheries disaster funding in the final Fiscal Year 2014 budget.

Coakley and Ferrante first brought up the plight of Massachusetts farmers with Mikulski, who is the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, during a visit by the senator to Boston last year.

Coakley called the federal government's regulation of the fish stock an existential threat to New England's fishing industry.

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