Written by Jen Finn
WASHINGTON – A budget bill that will go to the Senate floor for consideration would provide $150 million in disaster relief funding to New England's groundfish industry and several other fisheries.
U.S. Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire succeeded in adding the funding to a fiscal year 2014 appropriations bill for commerce, justice and science programs.
The bill was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday and is now headed to the Senate.
It is the latest effort to secure federal aid for the groundfishing fleet in northeastern states. In September, the U.S. Department of Commerce designated the northeastern groundfishery an "economic disaster," clearing the way for emergency federal funds to help support the industry, research programs or management practices.
But Congress has yet to earmark money for the groundfishery disaster, despite repeated attempts by New England lawmakers and members from other areas with fisheries disasters. The last major efforts failed earlier this year, when the House and Senate passed Hurricane Sandy financial relief bills without providing funding to other designated disasters.
Read the full story at Portland Press Herald>>
NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.
The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.Read more...
Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.
Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.Read more...