Are there more fish in the ocean than regulators say?

Kevin Norton prepared an outrigger on a fishing trip off the coast of Scituate.
Kevin Norton prepared an outrigger on a fishing trip off the coast of Scituate. –ARAM BOGHOSIAN FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

OFF THE COAST OF SCITUATE — The high-tech battle for the future of the Massachusetts fishing industry is being waged aboard a western-rigged stern trawler named the Miss Emily.

Onboard the commercial groundfish vessel, in addition to the satellite positioning system and other sophisticated tools that have become standard in the industry, are at least five computer monitors and a $14,000 fish-measuring board that has halved the time it takes to gauge the catch.

State officials say it’s money well spent.

Federal catch limits — caps on how many fish each boat can catch — have devastated the state’s most iconic commercial sector, fishermen say.

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