The dispute over the cuts comes amid anecdotal reports that fishing is off this year. Mirachi, who’s been fishing for 50 years, said catches seem lower on some species, such as cod, but better on others because warmer water seemed to draw a different mix of fish. He, and scientists, can only guess whether it is an anomaly, he said.
In the meantime, he said, there’s got to be way to temper both the optimistic and dismal projections about fish health and recovery, so the law doesn’t dictate such massive swings in the catch as the ocean decides what it’s going to do.
‘‘We as an industry could be happier with lower highs,’’ Mirachi said. ‘‘But we can’t live with the depths of the lows.’’