January 22, 2014
The first federal budget agreement in nearly five years, approved by Congress last week, includes $75 million in disaster relief for segments of the commercial fishing industry still reeling from recent stock collapses and regulatory controls that have slashed incomes for those harvesting wild seafood species.
A portion of that funding will go to compensate commercial fishermen in the Northeast for losses in profits after the allowable harvest of several species of “groundfish” were cut deeply last year, and for the foreseeable future. It is not yet known how much of the funding will go to the Northeast fishermen specifically or how much, if any, will be made available for New York fishermen.
“How much is actually going to be doled out to Northeast fishermen and to New York is still being worked out,” said Angie Hu, an aide to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “They will be looking at operational costs, direct financial assistance to fishermen and economic development programs.”