NEW BEDFORD - New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell says organizations bent on shutting down the fishing industry in the United States have expressed interest in Carlos Rafael's soon-to-be forfeited fishing permits.

Rafael was found guilty this year of falsifying catch records in order to evade federal regulations. He'll be sentenced on July 28 and forced to sell off 13 of his fishing permits and the associated fishing vessels.

Mayor Mitchell says non-governmental organizations have asked him about the permits.

"The environmental NGOs have threatened to buy up Carlos' permits if they became available," said Mitchell. "In fact, some of them were knocking on my door, figuratively speaking, and I said 'Look, that's just not something we're promoting.'"

In order to curb the rate of fishing out of New Bedford, the NGOs would purchase the permits and let them languish.

There are a limited amount of fishing permits in new bedford that have been doled out by NOAA.

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