The Mayors of New Bedford and Gloucester are asking a panel of NOAA scientists to put off a decision on drastic cuts to groundfish allocations, till the methods used to estimate the health of fish stocks is re-evaluated.

The panel is considering cuts of 45 to 73%% in groundfish for the fishing year that begins May 1. Mayor Jon Mitchell told the panel, there's a growing lack of confidence in the current scientific methods.

Mitchell says he wanted the scientists to understand that setting fish allocations is more than an "arithmatic exercise", its a decision that will economically impact fishermen and their families. Mitchell and Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk recommended the committee keep the ground-fish catch limits at this year's levels, till the scientific methods and models are re-assessed.