CONCORD, N.H. >> A lawsuit filed by a group of East Coast fishermen challenging the federal government over the cost of at-sea monitors will come to court in New Hampshire this month.

New England fishermen will have to start paying the cost of at-sea monitors early this year under new rules. The monitors collect data to help determine future fishing quotas. The monitors can cost about $800 per trip.

A group of fishermen contends that the cost shift is illegal. The federal lawsuit will have a hearing at U.S. District Court in Concord on Jan. 21.

Hampton, New Hampshire, fisherman David Goethel says the lawsuit is about protecting a vital and historic part of New England's economy. He says many fishermen won't be able to afford the added cost.