Congressman John Tierney and two colleagues today asked the House Appropriations Committee not to forget the Northeast groundfishing industry in the drafting of any disaster relief legislation for the Atlantic states ravaged in late October by superstorm Sandy.
Although no bill has been filed, Tierney spokeswoman Kathryn Prael said that, with the committee attempting to determine the needs of the states in recovering from Sandy in anticipation of possibly drafting legislation, the congressmen — Tierney, Barney Frank and William Keating — wanted to file a "marker" with the committee for a fishing industry that has descended into a government-recognized socioeconomic "disaster" over a number of years.
Tierney's district includes Cape Ann, Frank represents New Bedford, and Keating's district includes Cape Cod and the port along the curve of Massachusetts Bay.
On Sept. 13, nearly 10 months after Gov. Deval Patrick filed his second and more detailed request for a fisheries disaster declaration for Massachusetts, Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank prospectively issued a regional fisheries disaster declaration covering the groundfishery beginning in May 2013. Patrick's requests had also been followed by requests by the governors of New Hampshire and Maine and later Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York.
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