PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) has asked the federal government to declare a disaster in the New England groundfish fishery to help the region's struggling fleet.

Chafee on Friday issued a request to the U.S. Department of Commerce. He cites significant cuts in catch limits for species as cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder that are projected for 2013.

The governors of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine have made similar requests. Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts last week asked for $21 million in disaster relief for his state.

Robert Ballou, assistant to the director of the Department of Environmental Management, says they haven't yet determined the economic impact of the cuts in Rhode island, but it will not be as large as in Massachusetts.