National Fisherman

Massachusetts, the epicenter of the groundfish disaster that has ravaged the Gloucester small-boat fleet, could be positioned to receive a favorable share of the $75 million in disaster aid approved for fishermen and fishing communities in the Northeast Groundfish Fishery under the developing guidelines for distributing the funds.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s office confirmed yesterday that the process for developing the distribution formula remains a work in progress, but with the underlying principle that the funds — specifically designated as assistance to the groundfish disaster proclaimed by the Department of Commerce in 2012 — should go to areas where the most groundfish fishermen have suffered the greatest level of economic distress from the disaster.
Within the Northeast Groundfish fishery, which encompasses all six New England states, as well as New York and New Jersey, that would be Massachusetts.
The great fear among fishermen and fishing advocates is that NOAA, as an agent for the Department of Commerce, will exact a steep cut of the $75 million for the administrative costs related to funneling the money to the participating states.
Warren has been very vocal on the federal level, cautioning NOAA that every penny of the funds should reach those fishermen and fishing-related businesses because their need is the greatest.
Read the full story at Gloucester Times>>

Inside the Industry

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.


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.

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