National Fisherman

Massachusetts is ratcheting up the drumbeat for the nearly $33 million in federal fishing disaster aid to flow to the coastal New England states and New York through individual states rather than be distributed on a regional basis.
Gov. Deval Patrick personally made the case for state disbursement in an April 1 letter to U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, urging her to “disburse the funds immediately to the affected states so they may begin the important stakeholder outreach process and devise a plan best suited for each state to distribute the disaster funds.”
Patrick said Massachusetts is ready to proceed even if the other eligible states have not finalized their allocation plans.
“If other states need more time for implementation, I request that you move forward to allocate the Massachusetts portion of the program immediately, as the Commonwealth will receive, by any measure, the largest share of the disaster funding due to our landings,” Patrick wrote to Pritzker, adding that Massachusetts commercial groundfishermen suffered 90 percent of the estimated economic impact for the region.
Patrick said the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries is prepared to oversee the development of the economic assistance program and that Massachusetts is committed to an “open and transparent process” to get the funds into the hands of eligible fishermen and fishing-related businesses.
Read the full story at the Gloucester Daily 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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