National Fisherman


Republicans in the Senate moved Wednesday to strip funding for New England's struggling groundfishing industry from a Hurricane Sandy disaster relief package that they claim was loaded with money unrelated to the October superstorm.

Democrats had proposed a $60.4 billion package to provide emergency funds for mid-Atlantic communities hit hard by Sandy as well as for other disaster-related projects. But Senate Republicans countered Wednesday with a $24 billion package that they claim provides immediate disaster relief to storm-affected areas while giving Congress extra time to vet the other projects.

Two proposals to remove $150 million in funding for fisheries declared as federal disasters – including Maine's dwindling groundfishery – angered lawmakers from states fighting for the money.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., pointed out that five states in the middle of the U.S. received nearly $40 billion in funding for 68 federally designated disasters between 2004 and 2011.

"We have more than five states asking for $150 million," Kerry said in response to an earlier attempt to separate out the fisheries money. "I will just say point blank: This legislation is not going to pass without the inclusion of fisheries money."

Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced last week the sixth round of grant awards from its Fisheries Innovation Fund, a program launched in 2010 to foster innovations that support sustainable fisheries in the United States. 

The goal of the Fisheries Innovation Fund is to sustain fishermen and fishing communities while simultaneously rebuilding fish stocks.

Read more...

Alaskan Leader Fisheries will give Inmarsat’s new high-speed broadband maritime communications service, Fleet Xpress, a try on the 150-foot longline cod catcher/processor Alaskan Leader.

Read more...

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