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

Ray Hilborn, a University of Washington professor of aquatic and fishery sciences, recently received the 2016 International Fisheries Science Prize at the World Fisheries Congress in Busan, South Korea.

The award was given to Hilborn by the World Council of Fisheries Societies’ International Fisheries Science Prize Committee in recognition of his 40-year career of “highly diversified research and publication in support of global fisheries science and conservation.”

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Legislators from Connecticut and Massachusetts complained about the current “out-of-date allocation formula” in black sea bass, summer flounder and scup fisheries in a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce earlier this week.

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