National Fisherman


The 2013 farm bill emerged from the U.S. Senate this week with two amendments to help the fishing industry, introduced by Massachusetts Sen. William "Mo" Cowan, his staff announced Monday.

One amendment calls for some sort of catch insurance similar to crop insurance used by farmers.

The other would make low-interest loans available to the fishing industry to cope with the economic disaster declared in the fishery last year by acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank.

But the bill still has months to go. The House is expected to pass its own version, then the two will be reconciled in committee, where support for new spending on the fishing industry might face an uphill battle.

"Our fishermen are hurting and they need our help. I was pleased that the Senate-passed farm bill included my provision to resolve an inequity in the law and provide fishermen access to disaster loans just like other agriculture producers," Cowan said in a written statement. He was unavailable for an interview.

Read the full story at Standard-Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Downeast Salmon Federation has received a major grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities to ensure and improve the water quality of eastern Maine’s most important rivers, according to the Ellsworth American.

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Louisiana crab fishermen and their catch are feeling the pressure of a downturn in the state economy, and a resulting upturn of people entering the fishery.

“It’s a crazy business right now,” said Pete Gerica, the New Orleans fisherman who now serves as president or the Louisiana Crab Task Force, a legislatively-created board of industry voices that makes recommendations to state government.

Read more...

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