A year ago, the bill to provide $150 million in direct federal disaster assistance to fishermen rolled through the Senate, only to die a lingering death in the House — a casualty of the internecine and partisan bickering over the debt ceiling.
Yesterday, that failure by Congress to lift a deliberative finger to help fishermen was reduced to a political footnote when the Senate passed an appropriation to send $75 million to help fishermen, and fishing communities begin to right their ship after the economic peril visited upon them by the industry’s collapse.
The vote by the Senate, which followed Wednesday’s overwhelming victory in the House, means the federal government now will provide its first meaningful financial assistance to fishermen since the Department of Commerce declared an economic disaster in the Northeast groundfish fishery and elsewhere in 2012.
”This aid to our fishermen is long overdue,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said yesterday, immediately after casting her vote on the Senate floor. “I couldn’t be more pleased.”
Warren stressed that the appropriation is just the first step in helping rebuild the industry that has been ravaged by depleted fish stocks, shrinking fleets, climatic changes and NOAA’s crisis management strategy of closing traditional fishing grounds and slashing catch quotas.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily Times>>
National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14
In this episode:
NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first
NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.