Sen. John Kerry's office Wednesday announced plans for an Oct. 3 field hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee into the social and economic impacts of government fisheries policies.
The Boston hearing will feature testimony by NOAA administrator Jane Lubchenco, as well as members of the fishing industry and government officials — including Mayors Carolyn Kirk of Gloucester and Scott Lang of New Bedford.
The two mayors and other officials and industry leaders have formed a legal bond in seeking to overturn portions of Amendment 16, which has radically re engineered the management system, brought in Lubchenco's controversial catch shares format, and is bringing about a new and rapid consolidation of the fleet.
Lubchenco's unavailability to the Senate Commerce Committee during the spring and summer led to more than one aborted scheduling of the hearing, which Kerry promised to hold last winter after the administration declined to give legal credence to a report by the Massachusetts Fisheries Commission on the hardships created by Amendment 16.
Kerry's office said Wednesday that Sen. Scott Brown and the state's congressional delegation would also be invited to appear at the hearing.
Brown coordinated a late May hearing by another Senate committee into fisheries policies held at Faneuil Hall.
When NOAA frustrated Brown's efforts to obtain government documents related to the regulation of the fisheries, Kerry last month weighed in on behalf of his Republican colleague.