Over the past week, several important news headlines on our local fishery were featured on SavingSeafood- a locally based national news source for the fishing industry.
These articles all referenced the recent finalization of an aid package for local fishermen that have been impacted by the federally declared fisheries disaster. A combination of factors bearing down on local fishermen– including dramatic cuts to fishing quotas and scientific data that indicates a failure to rebuild several key fish stocks– have meant that many fishermen are in serious danger of losing their businesses. In response, back in September 2012, the federal government declared the “fisheries disaster” for the Northeast, thereby qualifying fishermen with current permits for financial assistance should it be made available. After a lengthy negotiation process and a battle in Congress to make the funds available, a bill was passed allocating a total of $32.8 million in federal aid for the New England states and New York. You can read more about this Congressional appropriation in this earlier blog post.
This May 29th article featured on SavingSeafood from the Gloucester Daily Times discusses how some of the funds will be allocated: Fishermen to get direct aid
Another web-based news source, seacoast online, featured this article providing additional information on how the funds will be allocated among the qualifying states: States decide how to split fishing disaster funds
And finally, this article published this morning by the Gloucester Daily Times discuses the push to get this funding to fishermen as quickly as possible: Push is on to speed aid to fishermen
You can stay up to date on all the latest headlines relating to the local seafood industry by visiting savingseafood.org.